EJ Whitten Legends game scrapped for another year; Journalist Sam McClure Leaves The Age; media street

It’s a celebrated game on the soccer calendar and an important fundraiser in the fight against prostate cancer. What’s next for the EJ Whittens Legends Game?

The EJ Whitten Legends Game has been postponed for another year, but Ted Whitten Jnr is hoping the match will eventually return.

A staple of the football calendar between 1996 and 2019, the exhibition match has pitted former champions against each other in a state-of-origin format, with celebrities also making regular appearances.

The game was initiated after the death of football legend Ted Whitten Snr in 1995 to raise funds for prostate cancer research, treatment and recovery.

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented the game from taking place in 2020 and 2021. While the pandemic situation in Victoria has improved significantly, its ongoing impact is the reason the game will not take place this year.

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In the wake of the pandemic, the EJ Whitten Foundation merged with the Australian Prostate Center to form the RULE Prostate Centre.

Whitten Jnr, himself a former Footscray player, explained why the game remained on an indefinite hiatus.

“We’re trying to get back on our feet, which is what we’re starting to do. The Legends game is unfeasible for us right now while we try to get RULE working,” said Whitten Jnr.

“It’s not dead and buried, but it won’t be played this year. Who knows in the future. It’s certainly one of the big fundraising arms.

“Basically, we just ran out of time this year. It takes six or eight months to put it together. We have decided not to continue. It’s not ready yet, we just couldn’t put it together this year, which is unfortunate. Not this year, but we hope to get it back on track for years to come.”

Instead, RULE is running a Legends Day campaign to raise funds, along with several other events including an EJ Whitten golf day.

Prior to the hiatus, in recent years the match was held on bye weekend between Round 23 and the AFL Finals, a property that has since been taken over by AFLW.

In 2019, the game was played in AFLX format at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

WithDaniel Cherny/CODE Sports

Sam McClure is stepping down from his press role on The Age

Age journalist Sam McClure has resigned from his printing role after being told he would not be able to read live commercial readings in his new role as 3AW’s sports anchor on a nightly show.

McClure’s Sports Entertainment Network boss, Craig Hutchison, confirmed McClure had resigned from The Age over new policies that barred all employees from reading sponsorship credits on live radio.

The Age issued an apology following McClure’s controversial appearance in a Sportsbet ad, despite recently reporting on the AFL’s invasive use of betting ads.

As a result of that exposure, Hutchison told The Sounding Board the podcast The Age has now introduced a policy banning journalists from reading live ads on the radio.

McClure was chosen to be the sole presenter of 3AW’s new 6 p.m. sports radio show Wide World of Sports, so his position would be untenable if he were unable to read ads and sponsorship announcements.

Hutchison’s Sports Entertainment Network produces the current 3AW sports show, hosted by Gerard Healy and McClure, with the radio network getting production rights back next year.

But Hutchison confirmed on his podcast Tuesday that McClure had resigned.

“The now infamous Sportsbet ad had an unfortunate knock-on effect on Sam McClure’s career,” he said.

“Sam McClure resigned from The Age newspaper last Monday following an award-winning career following a new edict from The Age newspaper that their identities can no longer read sponsor credits, adverts or live readings on commercial radio,” he said.

“Although Company Nine owns a radio network and a newspaper.

“(Editor) Gay Alcorn, with the support of the company, pushed a new policy. Sam McClure is the first victim of this.

“Sam hosted Sportsday for us and you would have seen the announcement that he will be hosting Wide World of Sports. My understanding is that the decision would only be approved by The Age if it had not read anything related to a customer of the program. Sam said it was impractical.”

Forced into a legal settlement with Collective Minds, organizers of the Adelaide camp, The Age had withdrawn 13 articles from 2018 to 2021.

Last week, Eddie Betts’ new book revealed the details of this camp, just days after McClure resigned.

He is expected to continue appearing on Nine’s Footy Classified, with Nine owning The Age, 3AW and its free-to-air TV arm.

McClure was contacted for comment.

Originally published as Media Street: The EJ Whitten Legends game has been scrapped for another year

https://www.codesports.com.au/afl/media-street-journalist-sam-mcclure-resigns-from-print-role-at-the-age/news-story/9cea3c9922a4304be6206a890242717e?nk=913ad057ffb46cd67de0eb920c0ec498-1660108271 EJ Whitten Legends game scrapped for another year; Journalist Sam McClure Leaves The Age; media street

Nate Jones

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