Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze slammed AFL footballers for binge drinking at the Brownlow Medal on Sunday night – and fans have responded by calling him a “sook” and telling him to “fuck off”.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was forced to ask for silence during the ceremony while the stars, their partners and other guests sipped drinks and enjoyed themselves – as they do every year.
There were no reports of bad behavior from any of the high profile guests, unlike previous years where the game’s superstars were obviously worse during the vote count.
However, Gaze believes the amount of alcohol consumed on the league’s night of nights sets a bad example for children who are currently on their school holidays.
“I just felt a little bit, and that’s the father in me, a little bit uncomfortable drinking, like it was some kind of game they were playing – skol a beer if you get a vote and throw on those black glasses Blick said on SEN Radio’s The Run Home.
“It normalizes behaviors that I don’t think are good news for children.
“It’s school holidays and a lot of kids are watching. Again, on the whole I’m sure most people behaved very well there, but it’s still a look presented by heroes [to kids].
“You hear Patrick Cripps talk about how he looked up [Ben Cousins and Chris Judd on Brownlow night].
“To see some of these guys who adore young kids drinking beer – they’re having a good time and I get that… I just think if there’s a way players can enjoy themselves and have a little bit more, but on camera – responsible drinking should be part of their job.”
Gaze’s comments drew a scathing reaction from footy fans, who believe players should be allowed to have a few drinks and unwind at the end of the season.
“Andrew fuck off and take care,” wrote one Twitter user.
“I love you Gazey, but come on, it’s not that. The players had a tough season and just let their hair down and don’t hurt anyone. They think there should be more focus on the constant gambling ads throughout the coverage as it sends a bad message to children,” said another.
‘Players peel beer when? What about the gambling ads & Saint Gil calling for quiet just read the count sook!’ added a third.
Carlton’s Patrick Cripps won the 2022 Brownlow Medal in a nerve-wracking finish and afterwards confessed he had to thank the mother of a teammate he saw for keeping him sober enough to accept Footy’s biggest award.
The blues skipper said he started “having a few beers” when he didn’t get votes early and decided he had little chance of winning the game’s top honor.
“I was close by and Harry McKay’s mom was next to me so she started topping up my water glass so I scrolled through a few so she probably saved my night,” he explained.