Collingwood president says he’s not a hypocrite
AFL: Collingwood have ruled out Jordan De Goey for their round 6 clash with Hawthorn.
Eddie McGuire has defended himself against accusations of hypocrisy after he called a four-match ban for Steele Sidebottom’s COVID-19 protocol breaches “heavy handed” despite earlier suggesting players should be fined $100,000 for breaking the rules.
On April 29 the Collingwood president declared on Footy Classified that players who broke the protocols should be hit with the big fine and suspended for the season.
Then last week the Magpies labelled the sanction for Sidebottom, who was given a lift home by police after being found drunk and shirtless, “excessive, inconsistent with recent protocol breaches and contestable”.
On Triple M radio on Monday morning, McGuire claimed his initial stance was right at the time but declared the situation was different now.
“What was that, April 29? I think it was the Fremantle Dockers blokes had had a party or whatever it was the situation there,” he said of his earlier stand.
“We were highly aware of the situations that were going to bring the whole season undone. So there we were.
“We weren’t playing at that stage, right, so we were talking about possibly going back into hubs and we were thinking forward into those sorts of situations.
“So (Matthew) Lloydy comes up with ‘Oh there’ll be other blokes who do it’, we know that there was going to be transgressions. My point was that the AFL, I believe, needed to go hard from the word go, OK? That’s what it was at that stage.
“The AFL for their own decision and right or wrong, I’m not saying they’re right or wrong, but they decided that they wouldn’t go that hard when we had a number of transgressions including people ending up in hospital etc., they didn’t go that hard.
“My point then, as going into that was, you really have to go hard on this to make sure the players who maybe don’t read the papers or don’t get it sometimes … you go hard to set the tone. They (the AFL) didn’t set the tone in that situation. They gave one and two-week suspensions.”
Despite his strong stance in April, McGuire said he couldn’t understand claims of hypocrisy, again claiming this morning Sidebottom’s suspension was “on the heavy side”.
“Last week what happened was Steele Sidebottom, he did something ridiculous and he got a four-week suspension,” he continued.
“Compared to where the other suspensions were it was, and the point that was made in quotes ‘manifestly unjust’ is the term that’s used that you have to qualify for if you’re going to appeal at the tribunal on the measure of people being suspended.
“The bottom line is Steele Sidebottom and Collingwood accepted the decision so there’s no hypocrisy in that at all.”
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