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Robbie McEwen responds to TV sacking and fallout

Ex-pro wants fans to contact broadcaster: 'I want them to feel the wrath of the people they are letting down'

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Robbie McEwen and the sudden sacking from his role in the announcer’s booth on Australian TV continues to rattle across the peloton.

The popular ex-pro was fired last week by Australian broadcaster SBS, and the former sprinter vented his frustration in a message on social media.

Since then, the story has blown up among fans and insiders in Australia, with many coming out to defend McEwen’s unique voice and expertise he brings to calling races.

McEwen spoke to the Australian newspaper The Age, denying his removal had anything to do with budget or salary demands.

“I don’t believe budget has anything to do with it because I would have taken a cut in the daily rate if that’s what was needed,” McEwen told The Age. “But that was never in the discussion. And budget cuts wouldn’t see more people added to the broadcast team, which seems to be happening.”

Also read: McEwen booted from TV role

McEwen urged fans and backers to let SBS officials know their thoughts, and many have taken to social media to share their displeasure.

“I’m assuming someone is pushing their own agenda in axing me. I loved doing it & I’m really disappointed. Direct your opinions to @CyclingCentral @SBSSport & attn to the executive producer if you’d like to let them know how you feel about it,” he wrote on Twitter.

Broadcast officials, which also fired longtime sports anchor and Tour pundit Mike Tomalaris late last year, said it wanted to take a “different approach” with its cycling broadcast team.

“Robbie has been a valued member of our cycling commentary line-up for a number of events over the last six years, but we’re exploring a different approach in 2022,” a statement read. “While his contract has come to an end, we thank Robbie for all that he’s brought to the role during his time with us.”

McEwen, who retired in 2012, said he hopes fans let the broadcaster know what they’re thinking.

“I don’t expect SBS to tell the real story behind the change, and they’ll just weather the storm on social media and wait for it to blow over,” McEwen told The Age. “I don’t want to be reinstated to work with those who made this decision, but I want them to feel the wrath of the people they are letting down – the viewers, who are also the taxpayers who fund SBS.”