Hunt reflects on Davis controversy

Written By Unknown on Senin, 15 April 2013 | 23.40

Controversy ... Rex Hunt and Leon Davis after they cleared the air. Source: Herald Sun

Rex Hunt has recounted the racial vilification scandal involving Collingwood's Leon Davis, with the veteran broadcaster maintaining the whole affair was a simple misunderstanding.

In a candid and wide-ranging interview with Mike Sheahan on Monday night's Open Mike, Hunt said the controversial incident that occurred while he was calling a Friday night Pies-Essendon game for radio station 3AW in 2005 was a "totally innocent" slip of the tongue.

"'Black as a dog's guts' came in the same sentence as Leon Davis," Hunt said of his description of the stormy night at the MCG.

"I didn't know anything about it until the following Monday evening when I had 16 missed calls because someone had rung SEN and (asked), 'How can this racist get away with it?'

"No one knew about it (before then) that's how innocent it was. Then Leon came out and said, 'I don't accept his decision'.

"Then Eddie got Leon and I together, along with Michael Long, and after five minutes Leon said, 'It's a storm in a teacup, I see where you're coming from'." 

Hunt also spoke of several other controversial incidents he became embroiled in including the sex scandal that sorely tested his marriage, his decision to carry forks onto a commercial airliner in 2004, the road rage episode of 2008 and the time when he scuffled with teenagers in Byron Bay.

Hunt, for so long the doyen of 3AW's football coverage, also spoke of his bitter split with the radio station and his regret at switching to rival Triple M, an organisation he "had hated for so many years".

Sheahan put it to Hunt that he had gone to Triple M "in a huff" – a notion he disputed.

"I was cool, I was calm, I was calculated, but what I wasn't prepared for was being a very second or third-string (caller)," he said.

"What I wasn't prepared for was that I had to change my style. James Brayshaw – a fantastic man and a fantastic caller – was the man. It was a boys' club. I'm a grandfather, sit in the corner like Dennis Cometti's doing, and just call.

"Several times I was called in (and they said), 'Look we just don't know about the worm burner, and the yibbida yibbida and the higher than Joe Cocker – just call the footy straight'."

After calling footy for 3AW for over 20 years, Hunt's stay at Triple M lasted just two before he departed in 2011.

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