Victorian premier slams 'disrespecful idiots' who booed and yelled during Ron Clarke Origin tribute.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the small portion of fans at State of Origin's Game 2 that booed and yelled during a moment's silence for late Olympic runner Ron Clarke.
As players from both teams stood respectfully with their heads bowed, isolated voices from the stands of the packed Melbourne Cricket Ground pierced the air with taunts and jibes.
Predictably social media lit up to condemn the disrespectful behaviour.
"It's the law of averages, " Mr Andrews said. "You get 91 and a half thousand people in any space you're always going to get a few idiots and that's exactly what they were, completely disrespectful idiots who don't do our city, our state, or indeed our nation any credit at all."
"Ron Clarke was a great Australian, a great Victorian and as I said yesterday it was a life well lived and I think everyone close to Ron needs to focus, I hope they'd focus, on the fact that the vast majority of those 91 and a half thousand, perhaps more than 91 thousand of them were respectfully paying tribute to a life well lived."
Clarke, 78, was one of Australia's greatest athletes and a former mayor of the Gold Coast who, after a short illness, died around 2am yesterday at the Allamanda Hospital in Southport.
The Olympic champion gained prominence on the athletics track in the 1950s and 1960s and officially set 17 world records. He also lit the cauldron at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to kick off the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
Clarke won bronze at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000 metres.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, he collapsed and almost lost his life after suffering severe altitude sickness.
He was the Gold Coast Mayor for two terms from 2004 and was unsuccessful in the 2012 Queensland state election when he ran as an independent candidate in Broadwater.
One of his last great political accomplishments was to help secure the Gold Coast as the host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Clarke is survived by his wife Helen, sons Marcus and Nicolas and grandchildren Natasha and Sebastian. In 2009, his daughter Monique died aged 49.