Viewers of a documentary featuring AFL great Adam Goodes have slammed Eddie McGuire for defending Sam Newman's infamous Footy Show blackface stunt.
The Australian Dream, which had its television premiere on the ABC on Sunday night, focuses on Goodes, who turned his back on the game for good when he retired in 2015 in the wake of an ugly racism row and years of relentless booing.
The film includes an infamous clip from a 1999 episode of the AFL Footy Show showing Newman with his face painted black after St Kilda champion Nicky Winmar failed to turn up for a guest slot.
McGuire defended his long-time friend and colleague in the documentary.
'He [Newman] didn't understand the nuance. He was a product of those times,' he said.
'He was a 60s 70s vaudevillian who was sending up Nicky Winmar because he didn't turn up on the show that night.'
Eddie McGuire has been slammed for defending Sam Newman's black-face stunt (pictured) on the AFL Footy Show during Adam Goodes new documentary
Goodes' documentary The Australian Dream shows his rise from a talented schoolboy to a celebrated player before his career came to an end following racist taunts
Newman painted his face black to pose as Indigenus AFL star Nicky Winmar, who had failed to show for his scheduled appearance on the AFL Footy Show
McGuire's comments sparked a social media firestorm, with some viewers criticising both him and Newman on Sunday night.
'Sam Newman is disgusting, but Eddie McGuire is equally vile. Making excuses for his behaviour creates space for it to exist. Gutless to the end,' one viewer said.
'F*** off Eddie McGuire, making excuses for Sam Newman's blackface. They all knew it was racist and did nothing in the moment to address it,' another wrote.
A third said of the footage: 'I can't actually get past Sam Newman and Eddie McGuire giggling like pathetic juveniles. Makes me sick.'
The documentary was praised by some social media users who described it was 'required viewing', while others objected to the claims the booing of Goodes was racist.
One Nation's Mark Latham posted two tweets on Sunday night where he said the crowd behaviour during Goodes' games was not racially motivated.
Some of the Tweets slamming McGuire and Newman for their racist actions and response
'It's all blah, blah, blah, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever that the booing of Goodes was about his race,' Mr Latham tweeted.
'Just because the elites, from the comfort of clink-clink corporate boxes, think footy fans in the outer are racist deplorables, does not make it true.
'Fast Forward to 2045 at the ABC: 'Today we are launching our 39th film on the Booing of Adam Goodes, who retired 30 years ago, sure, but this time we have really nailed it, showing the racism our 38 earlier films didn't quite prove'. Always Biased C**p.'
The Australian Dream shows Goodes' rise from a talented schoolboy to a celebrated player before his career came to an end following racist taunts.
In 2013, a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter called Goodes an 'ape' and was removed from the stadium by security.
The incident sparked a national conversation about racism and plunged Goodes into a tumultuous final two years of his career, where he was relentlessly targeted by football fans.
The booing took a toll on Goodes, whose football career came to an abrupt halt when he retired from the game in 2015.
'It [the football field] actually became a place I hated to walk out on to,' Goodes said in the film.
Both McGuire and Newman sparked controversy towards the end of Goodes' career.
In the wake of the 'ape' incident, McGuire referenced Goodes as 'King Kong' on live radio while Newman claimed fans weren't booing because Goodes was Aboriginal, but because he was 'being a jerk'.
Goodes played for the club for 17 years before he was booed and heckled with racial slurs during games
Goodes said he approached McGuire in making the documentaries to give him a chance for him to reflect on