Football fans have responded strongly to requests to welcome Sam Newman to the country during the week.
Newman sparked controversy when he asked fans to boos before the national anthem during the tradition.
On Friday night, a packed MCG listened quietly and respectfully as Uncle Colin Hunter Jr. the country welcomed.
On Saturday at the Gabba, fans found their voice in extraordinary scenes.
After the first introduction, the audience was encouraged to engage in standard Aussie, aussie, aussie, hi, hi, hi singing.
The sound emanating from the stands was electric, as all the fans present seemed to step into the center.
Fans watching loved every minute of it as cameras also showed the Lions and Blues players smiling after the incredible moment.
One social media user wrote: ‘ “Welcome to Country” explodes like fireworks at the Gabba without a single boo, ending with “Aussie! Australians! Australians!”and great applause. Thanks Sam Newman, all right, loser.
Greatest welcome to country ever 👏👏👏 #AFLLionsBlues
— kippa (@jaykippa) September 23, 2023
— ŘƏŊ🤘🏃 🇦🇺 (@metalheadruns) September 23, 2023
Now THAT'S a welcome to country that is UNITING rather than dividing
The response from fans & smiles from players says SO
much#UniteNotDivide#WellDoneShannonRuska#Aussies#WeAreOneAndWeAreMany@7AFL #AFLLionsBlues #AFL pic.twitter.com/tXwS8zwFem
— 🏏🇦🇺 *Marti* 💜⛈️🏈 (@HawksGirl67) September 23, 2023
Newman caused a storm this week when he publicly advocated that the football crowds booed welcome to the country.
The former Footy Show panel member has suggested an alternative which he believes should promote unity.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan strongly condemned Newman’s comments on Thursday, while Victorian Premier Dan Andrews also said welcome to the country was nothing to be booed about.
Newman’s comments were particularly explosive ahead of the Indigenous vote referendum in parliament on October 14.
Newman has now told the opposition podcast that he wishes the crowd would drown out Welcome to Country by singing the Seekers’ 1987 anthem ‘I am Australian’.
The song contains the lyrics “We are one, but we are many” in reference to Australia’s Moderna multicultural society.
It comes as Newman struck again at the ceremony welcoming Aboriginal people to the country, labelling it as “terrifying.”
“Are we sick and tired of it? I’ve been talking about this for some time. I find it insulting and humiliating to be received in the country where I live,” Newman said on the podcast.
“I’ve spent my whole life here. I paid taxes. I contributed to this. Like everyone else, we want to be united. country.
“I don’t know why we’re trying to divide on racial issues. I don’t know why the voice is part of this narrative.
“And to say that I must be well received in everything I enter, restaurants, churches, kindergartens, parties. It’s gotten out of control.
“It’s getting exponentially worse and worse because no one is going to back down.”
Sam Newman’s appeals have fallen on deaf ears as football fans around the world have shown that they are above the ugly calls.