Former AFL goalkickers Brendan Fevola and Brian Taylor have lashed the small number of players that have lacked perspective while in hubs, urging them to think of those less fortunate in tough times.
Several weird and wacky requests, as well as some strange bills sent to AFL headquarters for reimbursement on Coles orders, by players were revealed last week. One included a player inquiring whether their puppy could be brought into a hub, while another request was reportedly made for carpenters to alter apartments.
League chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirmed to 3AW there’d been some “outlier requests” the AFL had “been unable to fulfil”, but added he was “grateful” that most of the players and their families had settled into hub life well.
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Speaking on Channel 7 prior to Friday night’s Bombers-Giants clash, Coleman Medallist Taylor said players had to remember how lucky they were to still have a job.
“The sense of entitlement with some of these players is unbelievable,” Taylor told Channel 7.
“I understand they’re compromised in many areas, but understand the stress that the competition’s going through, the financial stress, the fragile nature.
“Be happy that you’ve actually got a job, bite your tongue in this situation.
“Yes it’s nice to have an Au Pair or a dog-walker or a gardener … or someone to alter a wall in your resort room. (But) look around the world.”
Taylor pointed out that many footballers had already been paid well in 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted a 50 per cent wage cut from May through to October.
“You have got a job. Be thankful,” he said.
Speaking on his Hit 101.9 breakfast radio program on Friday morning, Carlton champion Fevola said he had some sympathy for players, adding it would be tough for them to travel interstate on the same day as playing games but that it was “something you “have to do” in these tough times.
“I don’t want to go stacks on the footballer players because I was one and it’s tough, because I don’t want to pot them and them not to talk to me. But some of these AFL players are absolutely kidding themselves,” Fevola said on Fifi, Fev and Byron on Friday.
Fevola said a portion of AFL players and their family members had been treating the hub experience like a “holiday”.
“Some players have asked for support for babysitting, because they are used to having a nanny – well you don’t need a babysitter because the fact is, you can’t go anywhere … so look after your kids, be parents, that’s what parents do,” he said.
“Mate, you’re very lucky to be playing footy.
“Get your head out of your arse, play your footy, live with your family, have fun.
“Look at us in Melbourne. We can’t even leave our house after 8pm. You’re very lucky to be doing what you’re doing – and we’re very lucky to be watching what you are doing, but we had a nurse yesterday that couldn’t even get her kid babysat because her husband is working from home. Come on boys.”
Fevola pointed out how well the players had been looked after from a meals and entertainment perspective.
“It’s like a Timezone,” Fevola said, highlighting the games and entertainment available to players.
“That is heaven for me. Put me in the hub.”