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

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, that 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 100m and 200m. The 32-year-old is chasing a soccer career and scored two goals in his professional debut with the Australian League’s Central Cost 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.

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Usain Bolt's foray into soccer
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Usain Bolt's foray into soccer
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners looks on during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners looks on during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners controls the ball during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners is challenged by Josh Symons of Macarthur South West United during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners controls the ball during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners reacts after a missed opportunity on goal during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners falls over during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners is challenged by Josh Symons of Macarthur South West United during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 12: Usain Bolt of the Mariners controls the ball during the pre-season friendly match between the Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur South West United at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt (C), playing for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners, shoots on goal against Macarthur South West United in his first competitive start for the club in Sydney on October 12, 2018. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt celebrates scoring his first goal with his teammates from A-League football club Central Coast Mariners in his first competitive start for the club against Macarthur South West United in Sydney on October 12, 2018. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt trains with the Central Coast Mariners soccer team in Newcastle, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Bolt's attempt to win a contract to play as a professional in Australian football's A-League began in earnest on his 32nd birthday Tuesday. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt reacts during training with the Central Coast Mariners soccer team in Newcastle, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Bolt's attempt to win a contract to play as a professional in Australian football's A-League began in earnest on his 32nd birthday Tuesday. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt trains with the Central Coast Mariners soccer team in Newcastle, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Bolt's attempt to win a contract to play as a professional in Australian football's A-League began in earnest on his 32nd birthday Tuesday. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
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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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