ABC alerts police to racist email sent to sports presenter Tony Armstrong

The abuse appears to be a response to Armstrong's criticism of Gina Rinehart for not denying her father's racism against Indigenous people

The ABC has alerted police to racist emails sent to Tony Armstrong after the Indigenous sports presenter referred to the abuse and vowed to never stop advocating for his people.

"This bullshit has to stop," he said on Twitter. "One thing is for sure, this is not to stop us talking or moving on. Sent to my work email, nothing less.”

The email, which used a racial slur and called the former AFL player "dirty trash" and an "uneducated dog", appeared to be a response to Armstrong's criticism of mining magnate Gina Rinehart for not denying her father's racism towards indigenous peoples. The tweet received a flood of support from colleagues and fans including ABC presenters Michael Rowland, Zan Rowe and Nate Byrne.

The ABC News Breakfast presenter appeared on Ten's The Project last week and criticized the media for defending the billionaire after Hancock Prospecting withdrew a lucrative funding deal from Netball Australia following the player's rebellion against the company.

“The pro-Gina PR push has gone into overdrive with article after article about Gina's philanthropic virtues,” he said.

“The fact remains that what his father said while leading Hancock Prospecting was the worst thing that could be said about any other race.

“Let's be clear, he's not a senile loser who got drunk and shot his mouth. He was a mining pioneer who started a company. It was he who handed over the reins to Gina. He believed every word of it."

Armstrong also spoke of the initial lackluster response to the death of 15-year-old Indigenous boy Cassius Turvey, who was killed in an alleged violent attack in Perth. A proud Gamilaroi man, Armstrong has opened up about the racism he has faced throughout his life. life and said he was trying to dispel the perception that Australia doesn't have a racism problem like the US.

"I went out for coffee with some teammates," he said on Fox Sports after George Floyd's death. “Two policemen followed me to the cafe.

“They kept asking for my ID. They wanted to know where I was and what I was doing.

“Why? There was a robbery nearby. When I proved who I was, they just scoffed and left.”

His role as a well-known Indigenous man has caused many requests to speak on behalf of his community.

"When the Do Better report came out, every man and his dog wanted to talk to me, because I'm an Aboriginal guy who plays for Collingwood," he told Guardian Australia last year.

“And I can imagine what that cultural burden must have been for Goodesey [Adam Goodes]. It is very important that we have representation so that there is a fair and balanced discourse, and also that whoever is in the media does not burn out culturally and become an insecure space. I think that is also very important.”

ABC news director Justin Stevens said the racist abuse of Armstrong was sickening.

“ABC is taking various actions to support Tony Armstrong, including turning the matter over to the police.

“We are currently undertaking a larger project on harassment and abuse of ABC employees, including on social media, and examining all the options open to us to ensure the well-being of our employees.

"Our journalists should not be attacked or harassed for doing their job."

This article was amended on November 2, 2022 to correct Armstrong's mob from Barranbinaya to Gamilaroi.

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