Michael Slater’s fiery PM comments have Channel 7 ‘concerned’: Report
Aussie cricket great Michael Slater’s tweets are believed to have landed the commentator in trouble with his employers, after accusing Primer Minister Scott Morrison of having “blood on his hands”.
Channel 7, which owns the free-to-air rights to broadcast the Test matches and Big Bash League, has long been in a stoush with Cricket Australia.
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The network had been in a battle with cricket’s governing body over its $450 million deal after COVID wreaked havoc with the schedule last season with the relationship between the two bodies strained.
Seven took Cricket Australia to Federal Court last month, seeking thousands of documents after it changed the summer schedule and pushed back Test matches.
The Australian’s Media Diary has now reported “insiders” revealed Seven bosses are “keenly observing the appropriateness of Michael’s behaviour” and that they have shared “concern” as the network looks to avoid any damage to its government relations.
The furore began last week as India, where Slater was commentating for the Indian Premier League, saw its COVID crisis deepen.
After Aussie players Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa left the hot spot and returned home, the Australian government slammed the border between Australia and India shut.
Slater had also left but has been holed up in the Maldives, awaiting the ability to return home after May 15.
Slater used to commentator for Channel 9 before moving to Seven.Source:Getty Images
That was before the IPL was indefinitely suspended last Tuesday, with Australian players also flown to the Maldives until May 15.
But last week, the Morrison government introduced fines of up to $66,600 or five years in prison for anyone defying the travel ban preventing Australians returning home from India.
Slater responded with his first set of tweets last week, slamming the government for locking out Australian citizens.
“If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace,” Slater wrote.
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.
“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.”
And for those who think this is a money exercise. Well forget it. This is what I do for a living and I have not made a penny having left early. So please stop the abuse and think of the thousands dying in India each day. It's called empathy. If only our government had some!
Prime Minister Morrison responded on Tuesday, saying it was “absurd” for Slater to suggest he had “blood on your hands”.
“I’m not going to fail Australia,” Morrison added.
Slater again hit out on Wednesday night, challenging Mr Morrison to a debate.
Amazing to smoke out the PM on a matter that is a human crisis. The panic, the fear of every Australian in India is real!! How about you take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!
And did just read greed over common sense! Your government granted me permission to work so I can pay for 3 beautiful children through school and pay a mortgage. So where does common sense lie. Not on my end!
I challenge you to a debate anytime PM.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud responded Thursday, saying Slater needs to “get over himself”.
“He is acting like a spoiled prat,” Littleproud said. “No one’s underestimating the harrowing impacts on the Indian people, or on the Australians that are stuck there, but the Australian Government’s primary responsibility is to keep its people safe.
Michael Slater in India before he fled to the Maldives.Source:Supplied
“Sometimes we have to make tough decisions for the greater good.
“Michael Slater can sit on the beach and slam us over here in Australia.
“These are tough decisions and we’re very empathetic with not only Australians there, but also those thousands of Indians that are dying every day.
“Wake up. If you want to have an adult conversation, talk like an adult.”
Slater played 74 Tests and 42 one-day internationals for Australia, scoring 6299 runs and 14 centuries.
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