The ABC has called police over the racist abuse sent to popular TV personality Tony Armstrong.
The sports presenter shared a heartbreaking racist message sent to his work email address.
NSW Police said in a statement: “Officers from Sydney Police Area Command have received a report regarding offensive emails sent to a 33-year-old man. Detectives are currently assessing the material. Inquiries continue.”
The ABC has now confirmed it has referred the matter to police.
The national broadcaster on Wednesday issued a statement from ABC News Director Justin Stevens, who has said the network is exploring all options to “ensure the wellbeing of our people”.
“This racist harassment is sickening. The ABC is taking a range of actions to support Tony Armstrong, including referring the matter to police,” Stevens said.
“We are currently conducting a bigger project on the abuse and harassment of ABC employees, including on social media, and examining all the options open to us to ensure the wellbeing of our people.
“Our journalists should not be attacked or subjected to abuse for doing their jobs.”
The former Sydney Swans footballer was racially attacked in the wake of his comments surrounding the netball sponsorship storm that divided the country last week.
The popular ABC figure spoke out to condemn Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart over her apparent disappearing act following mining giant Hancock Prospecting’s decision to walk away from a $15 million deal supporting the Diamonds.
Hancock Prospecting tore up the lucrative sponsorship contract after Indigenous player Donnell Wallam objected to wearing a Diamonds’ uniform with the Hancock logo during Australia’s series against England.
This was because of comments made by its founder Lang Hancock — Rinehart’s father —about “sterilising” Indigenous Australians in the 1980s.
Armstrong has now revealed the ugly backlash to the comments he made.
“This s*** has gotta stop,” he posted on Twitter alongside a screenshot of the email.
“One thing is for certain though, this isn’t guna stop us speaking up or stepping up. Sent to my work email, no less.”
The disgusting attack refers to Indigenous Australians as “filthy scum” and describes Armstrong as a “dog”.
Armstrong has received a flood of supportive messages after sharing the email.
The Project’s Peter Heliar responded: “Disgraceful. Love ya T. Here for you”.
Former Sydey Swans teammate Jude Bolton wrote: “Bloody awful, racist c**p mate. Utterly disgusting. Love you Tony”.
Swans great Tadhg Kennelly wrote: “Love u brother, here for you”.
His message of refusing to stop speaking out has been liked more than 13,000 times on Twitter and he has received further messages of support from ABC presenters Michael Rowland, Zan Rowe and Nate Byrne.
Armstrong also won plenty of admirers for his outspoken comments towards Rinehart.
Speaking on The Project on Thursday night, Armstrong criticised sections of the Australian media for lauding Rinehart’s philanthropic work in Indigenous communities and failing to condemn her father’s comments.
“The pro-Gina PR push has gone into overdrive with article after article about Gina’s philanthropic niceness,” he said in a piece-to-camera.
“$300 million in royalty payments to Indigenous Australians over here, community funds making it rain over there, it’s just money, money, money for the good of blackfellas everywhere.
“Hancock is a company that last year announced profits of $7.3 billion. When pro-Gina media shouted that her actions speak louder than words, what they really mean is money talks. Gina throws money at things to win them over.”
Rinehart has not publicly condemned or distanced herself from her father’s comments about Indigenous Australians and Armstrong offered her an opportunity to come on The Project to discuss the matter.
“The fact remains that what her dad said while at the helm of Hancock Prospecting is hands down the worst thing anything could say about another race,” he continued.
“Let’s be clear, he was not a senile blow-in who got drunk and shot his mouth off. He was the mining pioneer who started the company. He was the one who handed the reins to Gina. He believed every one of those words.
“Us blackfellas are big on truth-telling. So in the spirit of reconciliation, Gina, what do you think about your dad’s comments? We just want to know what you reckon. Send us an email or come join us on the desk.
“Just let us know, Gina. As Australia’s richest person, your words and opinions matter.”
Armstrong, a proud Barranbinya man, finished by praising Wallam for her debut and how she’s handled herself throughout the ordeal.
“What a superstar,” he said.
“Let’s not forget the role Donnell Wallam’s played in the middle of all this. She’s an absolute champion. Eight from eight on the court last night and the winning goal. She’s a superstar, I love her, shout out to her.
“Full credit to the rest of the team for standing by her as well.”
Co-host Waleed Aly said the outrage in response to Wallam’s request not to wear the Hancock logo had been overblown.
“A lot of this has been presented as she tried to tear the whole thing down,” he added.
“She didn’t. She had a very understandable problem, she told her teammates about it, they were moved by what she said and then decided they would stand in solidarity.
“She didn’t say, ‘I’m trying to burn the join down’ or any of that sort of stuff. I feel like that distinction has been completely lost in this and she’s just at the bottom of something that almost has nothing to do with what she actually did.”