AFL legend Jason Akermanis has been slammed by viewers for appearing to fake an injury in order to quit SAS Australia.
The new season of the reality TV show began on Monday night, with the contestants tasked with completing gruelling tasks and challenges in military style conditions.
Akermanis was one of several Australian sporting identities appearing as contestants, along with Matthew Mitcham, Stephanie Rice, Boyd Cordner, Peter Bol, Anthony Mundine and Abbie Holmes.
Akermanis, who won three premierships with the Brisbane Lions, completed an exercise involving running onto a train to retrieve a military case before jumping off the train.
The 46-year-old was unable to find the case and later complained about having a sore foot.
In a seriously painful exchange, Akermanis tried to convince the SAS doctor to medically discharge him despite the doctor seeing nothing wrong with his foot.
Akermanis: It’s very sore, it’s not good.
Doctor: Doesn’t really look swollen, does it?
Akermanis: Nah but it’s painful. I don’t know if I’ve cracked a bone in there. I did some running and f*** me, I was in so much pain.
Doctor: What were you doing? What happened?
Akermanis: What were we doing? We went up a sandhill, came down, maybe when we went to a rock and back.
Doctor: I’m just trying to get my head around what we’re dealing with. I get that you’re in a bunch of pain but there’s not a history of a fracture there. It’s certainly not to my eye any more swollen than the other.
I don’t think you’ve broken a bone. It’s not like you’ve twisted it or rolled it or come off an obstacle funny.
Akermanis: I’m telling you, there’s nothing we can do if it’s going to be that painful. So either I get a discharge or I just have to say I physically can’t do it.
Doctor: But I’m not seeing anything here that would lead me to think I need to medically take you off the course to be honest.
Akermanis: Not bad enough, is that what you’re saying.
Doctor: Well I can’t see anything. Do you see anything?
Akermanis: Well there’s swelling here.
Akermanis: I reckon these two toes are swollen a bit. What do I do?
Doctor: Put your boots back on. You won’t even try some basic pain relief and see how it goes? You’re getting well ahead of yourself.
Akermanis: Honestly, nah.
Without being medically discharged, Akermanis decided to voluntarily withdraw from the course — making him the first contestant to pull out of SAS, in the first episode no less.
“I didn’t leave injured. I’m a bit sore but not that injured,” Akermanis is heard saying.
“I don’t need to come on a course like this to prove anything to anyone else.”
Viewers couldn’t believe Akermanis faked an injury to leave the competition so early.
One viewer wrote on X: “Jason Akermanis saying he has nothing to prove then left because his toes hurt. I am embarrassed for him lol.”
A second wrote: “Jason Akermanis.. You are an absolute whinging potato.”
“Oh Akermanis is tanking so hard right now,” said another.
“Akermanis took the money and run errrr limped,” criticised one viewer.
While another asked: “Surely Akermanis doesn’t get paid for that pathetic effort?”