icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Aussie TV host under fire for Usain Bolt ‘slavery’ joke

Aussie TV host under fire for Usain Bolt ‘slavery’ joke
Australian TV presenter David Koch has come under fire for using the word “slavery” to describe the potential sale of Usain Bolt from an Aussie football club, where the sprint star is attempting to forge a professional career.

Bolt has been on trial at A-League club Central Coast Mariners in New South Wales for the past two months, and opened his goal-scoring account for the club with a double in a recent friendly.

READ MORE: Usain Bolt bags 1st goals of football career on 1st start for Australian club (VIDEO)

That has led to rumors of interest from Maltese champions Valletta FC, with the club reportedly keen to sign the world's fastest man as they bid to break into the Champions League.

Discussing speculation that Bolt could first sign for the Mariners and then be sold on to the European club, Koch said on breakfast TV show ‘Sunrise’: “So the Mariners sell him for money, they make a lot of money out of it?”

Co-host Mark Beretta replied: “It’s a win-win. You keep him, great. You sell him, so be it, that’s the tough world of professional football.”

Koch then left his co-hosts stunned by adding, “who said slavery was over ... anyway, no,” before cutting himself short.

The reference to slavery prompted shock and anger from some viewers, who slammed the veteran Seven Network presenter.  

Koch took to Twitter to post an apology, although appeared to dig himself an even bigger hole with the explanation that “there’s no slavery any more. People have rights.”

The gaffe-prone presenter has come under fire before, including while convering the earthquake disaster in New Zealand back in 2011, when he tweeted: "Up since 3.20am yesterday... time to sleep like the dead.” 

READ MORE: 'I’m not a professional footballer yet' – Usain Bolt questions drug test request

Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt, 32, is pursuing a life-long dream of a career in professional football, having hung up his track spikes last summer.

Before embarking on a trial with the Mariners, he trained with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa and Stromsgodset in Norway.

The Mariners are yet to offer him a contract, although Valletta FC are reportedly prepared to offer him a two-year professional contract.