Mitchell Johnson calls for Sam Kerr to be stripped of Matildas captaincy over criminal charge

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Mitchell Johnson has called for Sam Kerr to be removed as the captain of the Matildas.

Kerr made headlines when she was charged with intentionally causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress to a male police officer in London.

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The news blindsided the Australian public and even Football Australia with calls flooding in for the star striker to removed as skipper of the national side.

While many have since walked back their initial calls for her removal, most notably Craig Foster, Johnson believes her captaincy has be questioned.

As one of Australia’s most admired athletes, if Kerr isn’t removed as the Matildas leader it is sending a nightmare message to youngsters according to Johnson.

“Regardless of the outcome of Kerr’s charge in England, her captaincy deserves to be called into question after hiding it from Football Australia,” Johnson wrote in a column for The Nightly.

“More than just being looked up to by many young girls and boys, Kerr is the captain.

“Leaders need to lead from the front, and not telling the national body about her legal issues sends a terrible message, more so when you’re the captain.

“This would be a good time to show the young kids who look up to her, or any of our sports stars, that you must be accountable for your actions. What message does this send our kids otherwise?”

For many, Kerr’s decision to cover up the incident — having first being charged in January — was just as shocking.

In the immediate aftermath of the news breaking last week, Craig Foster said Kerr’s decision to hide the incident from Football Australia would have “shocked” and “saddened” her fans.

When asked if Kerr should be stood down, Foster initially said Football Australia should “definitely consider it”.

Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021 for his service to multiculturalism, human rights and refugee support, Foster has now changed his tune, just as many Australians have throughout the storm.

He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Sam Kerr’s case has created immensely important conversations and exposed gaps in Australia’s knowledge, including mine.

“I am not at all surprised to have got this wrong, apologise to Sam for reaching the wrong conclusion and am very pleased to be able to improve my advocacy.”

Kerr is reportedly set to argue her case that she never referred to a police officer as a “stupid white bastard”.

The alleged remark was brought to light a day after the Matildas striker appeared at Kingston Crown Court via videolink.

The report notes that Kerr isn’t denying that she referred to the policeman as “white”, but will instead argue she said “stupid white cop”.

The incident allegedly occurred on January 30, 2023, just hours after Kerr scored an incredible hat-trick to propel Chelsea to a 3-2 FA Cup victory over Liverpool.

Kerr is said to have been sick in the back of a taxi after a night out when police were called to the dispute.

A hearing is scheduled for April 26 where Kerr’s legal team will apply to have the case dismissed on grounds of abuse of process.

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