Greg Norman has come under fire over a truly bizarre tweet during the coronavirus crisis.
Australia’s death toll from coronavirus reached 13 on Thursday after a third Victorian died.
The growth in cases also continued to surge nationally – surpassing 3000 on Friday.
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Amid the global pandemic, Aussie golf legend Norman sent a message of positivity to his social media followers in apparent attempt to add some light during the dark times.
“No matter what anyone says we all can make it!” he wrote on Twitter on Friday.
“Sending positive vibes to all today, we WILL get through this chaos.”
However the tweet was accompanied by a video of a television ad that Norman starred in during the 1980s for Swan Lager.
“Hope this lightens your day. Be safe, smart, and above all stay healthy,” he wrote.
No matter what anyone says we all can make it! Sending positive vibes to all today, we WILL get through this chaos. Hope this lightens your day. Be safe, smart, and above all stay healthy. #TBT pic.twitter.com/RozVQV8N0i— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) March 26, 2020
Greg Norman slammed for ‘insensitive’ post
Accompanied by the song ‘They said you’d never make it’, the ad shows Norman overcoming adversity to reach the top of the golfing world.
In cringeworthy scenes, Norman is shown running out of the surf, enduring some ups and downs on the golf course before topping it all off with a nice Swan Lager.
A lot of fans saw the funny side and praised Norman for the throwback post, however many were unimpressed.
American golfer Kyle Thompson said he was “at a loss for words”, however it wasn’t clear whether he was angry or just gobsmacked by the bizarre video.
Veteran Aussie reporter Brett McLeod tweeted: “Greg Norman says everything will be ok because Swan lager.”
Peter FitzSimons was also critical, while others described his tweet as ‘insensitive’ and ‘embarrassing’ considering the tragic nature of the current pandemic.
And now, in the midst of this global crisis with thousands dying every day, something you weren't expecting. A word from Greg, and our sponsor, to lift everyone's spirits. Take it away, Greg . . .— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) March 26, 2020
(I am going outside, and should be some time.) https://t.co/LtMPdGUxgN
Nup. That is Greg Norman, unvarnished. https://t.co/A7fe5gU0Ms— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) March 26, 2020
Greg Norman says everything will be ok because Swan lager. https://t.co/aOXhiepiWp— Brett Mcleod (@Brett_McLeod) March 26, 2020
At a loss for words— Kyle Thompson (@KyleThompsonPGA) March 26, 2020
This real?— Christopher 🏌🏼⛳️ (@LEFTY21211) March 26, 2020
It doesn't.— Libbi Curtis (@LibbiCurtis) March 26, 2020
How many majors did you win, mate? This video is the most self indulgent, insensitive piece of entitled crap I have ever seen.— NoisyTeaWoman (@noisywoman) March 26, 2020
Simply embarrassing— Rick Powell (@RickPowell18) March 26, 2020
However there were plenty of Norman fans who thanked him for bringing some comedy to such unhappy times.
Omg, that was TREMENDOUS!— Kyle J. Cartledge (@KCartledge85) March 26, 2020
Wow, that was a blast from the past, love it! 🤙— Tommy d 🇦🇺 (@TdW_59) March 26, 2020
Refreshing change of pace, thanks.— Nick Hunter (@mngolfguy23) March 26, 2020
This may be the most perfectly timed post in history.— Rick (@Ricklebury) March 26, 2020
Greg Norman critical of bushfire crisis
In January Norman said the deadly bushfire crisis that devastated communities across Australia cuts to his core and “exposes the stupidity of mankind”.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, the 64-year-old two-time major winner paid tribute to all those affected by the fires - from victims, to firefighters, to the countless wildlife that has been destroyed by the unprecedented tragedy.
I apologize for the length of this post and commentary from afar but seeing these images of death and destruction, the strength of the human spirit, the pure heartache and tragedy the people of Australia have endured cuts to my core and to be brutally honest exposes the stupidity pic.twitter.com/GpXyfddWQv— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) January 6, 2020
He went on to offer solutions for the future prevention of such a crisis - insisting Australia should adopt similar strategies to those in the United States.
He also urged our leaders to seek greater consultation with Indigenous Australians, considering they are the original custodians of our land.
with Andrew Reid