Sam Newman slams 'fawning, sycophantic' AFL over 'Yes' logo

Football identity Sam Newman has slammed the AFL following the organisation's controversial decision to change its logo to 'Yes' in support of same-sex marriage.

Newman told a cheering Footy Show audience that the AFL were "obsequious, fawning, sycophantic political whores" that had "no right to get involved in political messages".

"But who in the hell are these people at the AFL who are telling the football public what they should do in their lives and who they should vote for in any political agenda. Who are you?" he said.

"Who gives you the right to tell people and to put on the football what people should do.

"What right have you got to say what people should be doing? Let people go to the football and do what they want to do - just watch the game.

Sam Newman had a clear message for the AFL last night.

Sam Newman had a clear message for the AFL last night.

"Keep your contrived and conflicted snouts out of people's lives. All you're doing is virtue-signalling, making yourselves look grand."

Newman's rant began a heated debate with co-host Eddie McGuire.

The Collingwood president rebuked Newman's view, claiming that the football community was stepping in to fill a vacuum created by the lack of political leadership on the issue.

"Now, let me put a counter to you. There's an old saying 'if you don't stand for something you stand for nothing'," McGuire said.

"What we have in our world at the moment, Sam, is a leadership vacuum with politicians who don't do anything unless there's a vote in it.

"We have media who are running agendas to get whatever they want. We've got churches that have completely lost any credibility in what they stand for.

"But the AFL these days is an organisation that people do look to."

The debate continued, as both men fought for time to express their view.

"If you put it to the AFL, do you stand for discrimination? They would put a 'No' up on the wall," McGuire said.

"The AFL stands for a situation that I think should be the lifeblood of our country, that it's not what you are, it's who you are, it's what you contribute".

McGuire said the sign was the AFL saying it was "welcoming and for equality".

"If you're a 14 or 15-year-old and you're gay, you can come to a football club and be part of it," he said.

Newman then said: "Shut up, Ed. It's nothing about gays, it's about political agendas."

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan stood by the sign and the organisation's support of same-sex marriage, telling radio station 3AW on Friday morning he hadn't given Newman's outburst a great deal of thought.

"That's Sam," he said. "I'm OK, it's not something I think about.

"Sam's entitled to his view - I don't agree with it.

"We're expressing a view from our organisation and we have said clearly we're not lecturing people on what to do. This is just a statement about how we feel, we're not telling anyone what to do.

"A core value for us and it is key to who we are, what we have been for a long time, is we are against discrimination. We are for everyone."

Despite Newman's fiery rant, The Footy Show's Seven Network rival surged ahead in the ratings. The Front Bar pulled in 333,000 viewers across Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth while The Footy Show managed to reach 295,000 people.

Reaction on social media was mixed with many viewers jumping in to support both hosts.

Sam Newman is Right about AFL promoting SSM YES VOTE? AFL STOP politicking focus on the Game Ur becoming a joke??? NJL ???? ???? MEDIA ???? (@ANTI_ALP) September 21, 2017

On Thursday, AFL headquarters was evacuated following a threatening phone call.

The hoax call came after the logo change at the front of the organisation's headquarters on Wednesday. It was changed back less than 24 hours later.

Tensions over the government's postal survey have been mounting.

Also on Thursday, vocal 'No' campaigner Tony Abbott claimed to have been headbutted by a man wearing a 'Yes' badge while out walking in Hobart.

There have also been ongoing reports of piles of ballot letters being dumped around Melbourne.

This story Sam Newman slams 'fawning, sycophantic' AFL over 'Yes' logo first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.