Indigenous footy great Nicky Winmar will engage in mediation talks with Sam Newman, Don Scott and Mike Sheahan after theyignited controversy by questioning his iconic 1993 stand against racism.
Newman, Scott and Sheahan discussed Winmar’s famous shirt-lifting gesture on their ‘You Cannot Be Serious’ podcast last week and suggested the Saints star pointed to his skin to celebrate a “gutsy” team effort at Victoria Park.
Mike Sheahan quits podcast in the video above
Winmar and the photographer of the famous image Wayne Ludbey have sincelaunched legal action over the discussion, with Winmar now declaring the trio were painting him as a liar.
“I know what I said (about the gesture). I am not a liar. These white fellas are tarnishing my legacy,”Winmar told The Herald Sun.
Winmar and Ludbey, who have engaged lawyer Leon Zwier, will engage in mediation talks with the podcast trio and their lawyer Justin Quill on Friday.
Highly-respected Indigenous journalist Stan Grant, who featured in Adam Goodes movie The Australian Dream, will attend the meeting as a mediator, along with a former Federal Court judge.
The legal development comes after veteran journalist Sheahan turned his back on Newman and Hawks great Scott following the controversial Winmar discussion.
The 73-year-old quit the ‘You Cannot Be Serious’ podcast on Tuesday beforeexplaining how a phone call from Sydney Swans legend Goodes was the catalyst for his decision.
“When Goodesy rang me, and he’s almost the elder statesman of the Indigenous players, he wasn’t angry and he wasn’t nasty, but he certainly was decisive and said a couple of things to me that really cut deeply,” Sheahan said on the podcast.
“I thought ‘well, again this issue of you don’t know what things mean to people unless you’re on the receiving end of it’.
“I said to Goodesy ‘well Adam, I’m sorry about that, but I’d like to think I could turn any corner in any city in Australia and confront an Indigenous player and we would welcome each other warmly’.
“And he said to me ‘if you turn the corner tomorrow and you ran into me, I’d cross the road’, and I thought ‘geez’, that really cut me, to think that.
“When you have such a profound impact on people who you like and respect – I’m not as practiced as you are at dealing with public fallout.
“He (Goodes) said to me ‘we’ll stay mates, but the brothers were really disappointed in you and I am too and you have to wear the outcome of what you said’.
“The one thing it reminded me of, was unless you walk in their shoes, in the shoes of the Indigenous boys, you don’t understand, we don’t comprehend what it means to them and the impact it has on them.”
Meanwhile Newman has insisted he never meant to cause offence to Winmar with his “light-hearted conversation”.
“We were discussing the photo and what the various scenarios of it were. And now, since we’ve had that discussion a huge and giant kerfuffle has broken out about whether what we thought we were talking about and what Nicky Winmar has taken exception to,’’ Newman said.
“Could I say that we meant in no way to cause any offence to Winmar and his team and now at this stage there are lawyers and attornies and QCs involved.
“Standing like the OK Corral at 10 paces waiting to see what happens next.
“We hope to meet with Mr Winmar later in the week or at a time convenient to him and his team to sort this out because we have no ulterior motive in trying to cause any offence at all.
“It was a light hearted conversation we thought which he has taken exception to. We’re trying to resolve the matter in the best interests of all us.”