'Who said slavery is over': Australian TV host comments on Usain Bolt's soccer career

Usain Bolt is seeking a soccer contract and was the subject of a ‘slavery’ remark from an Australian TV host and AFL chairman.
Usain Bolt is seeking a soccer contract and was the subject of a ‘slavery’ remark from an Australian TV host and AFL chairman.

One Australian TV host knew mid-sentence he’d make a mistake, but the damage was done.

David Koch is one of the hosts of the Australian breakfast program, “Sunrise,” and the current chairman of the Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). His comment on slavery and soccer in regards to Usain Bolt, which received shocked looks from those on the morning show’s panel, has gotten him into hot water.

‘Sunrise’ discusses Usain Bolt’s soccer prospects

As any morning show would, Koch and co-host Sam Armytage carved out time to discuss the biggest news of the day with a panel, in this case newsreader Natalie Barr and sports reporter Mark Beretta. The topic was Usain Bolt’s professional prospects with a European club, Valletta FC, which later made him an offer.

Bolt made his name on the track where he’s an eight-time Olympic gold medalist with world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter. The 32-year-old is chasing a soccer career and scored two goals in his professional debut with the Australian League’s Central Coast Mariners, where he’s on a six-week training contract.

Enter the “Sunrise” crew:

“So the Mariners sell him for money; they make a lot of money out of it?” Koch said after Beretta read the report.

“It’s a win-win. You keep him, great. You sell him, so be it,” Beretta said. “That’s the tough world of professional football.”

“All right. Who said slavery was over … anyway. No,” Koch said, quickly turning to a new topic.

The panel did not look pleased:

Koch ‘clarifies’ his slavery comments on Twitter

Koch, who is no stranger to controversy and inappropriate statements, took to Twitter later in the day to clarify what he meant by the comment.

Followers on Twitter made sure to send him some choice GIFs, some of which were incredibly similar to his co-host and panelists’ faces earlier that day.

Bolt seeing A-league contract

Mariners coach Mike Mulvey said Bolt has until January at the latest to show the team what he can do on the pitch. The team will decide then, at the latest, if they’ll sign the Jamaican track star for the rest of the season.

Reigning Maltese champions Valletta FC reportedly offered Bolt a two-year contract, but Bolt has said before he’d like to chase an A-League contract. He turned down offers in Spain and France because they weren’t in the “top division.”

His two goals turned heads and drew lines, according to a report Monday in ESPN. The Mariners are reportedly seeking $1 million from the governing body to contribute to his salary if they were to sign him.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop ruled that out Monday, saying the organization doesn’t “want to compromise” what the league’s marquee fund is there for, which is to attract proven world-class players.

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