Nine won’t rule out dumping AFL star over comment

Mal Brown on The Sunday Footy Show.

CHANNEL Nine has refused to rule out whether it will allow former AFL star Mal Brown on air again, after he made an antisemitic comment over the weekend.

Brown was appearing on Nine’s The Sunday Footy Show when he spoke about his former teammate, Kevin Bartlett.

Of Bartlett, Brown said: “He was very Jewish, he never bought a drink in his life.”

Apologising for the remark, a Nine spokesperson said, “The comments made were in poor taste and we don’t condone those stereotypes. We apologise for any offence it may have caused.”

While the show’s host Tony Jones also apologised for the comment, Brown has doubled down, telling the Herald Sun, “I am absolutely not apologising for that.”

He added that he doesn’t “give a stuff” about those who have been offended by his remark.

Asked by The AJN if the broadcaster will continue using Brown on air, a Nine spokesperson replied, “He is not a regular member on the show, he was a one-off guest on Sunday, May 26.”

Brown’s comment has drawn the ire of Jewish leaders and politicians this week.

Member for Caulfield David Southwick told The AJN Brown “must apologise immediately or be dropped from appearing on the network”.

“Rooted in one of the oldest antisemitic Jewish stereotypes, these comments are deeply hurtful and have no place in contributing to the generally humorous nature of the show’s dialogue,” Southwick said.

He added, “We have seen, recently, the importance of holding public figures and role models accountable to their words – and Brown’s refusal to apologise for his comment is unacceptable.”

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich welcomed the “swift apology” by Nine, but called on Brown to “do the right thing and withdraw his thoughtless and hurtful slur”.

“Putting down any religious group by suggesting that they are stingy and cheap is simply unacceptable and never funny,” Abramovich said.