Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has let rip in an explosive on-air rant about the Sydney Swans' treatment of Magpies star Nick Daicos, even going as far as suggesting that the AFL should introduce a 'no taunting' policy. The Swans made a point of physically targeting Daicos while limiting him to a season-low 25 disposals during last Sunday's match at the MCG.
The Swans sent tagger Ryan Clarke to pester Daicos throughout the contest and when the Swans player kicked an early goal, his Sydney teammates gave Daicos both barrels. Swans players were seen shoving Daicos in the head and ruffling his hair, which in turn sparked a series of scuffles.
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Daicos still managed to finish the match with a respectable 25 disposals and the Pies dominated the Swans in the second half to run away with a 29-point victory. However, McGuire was left seething over the treatment Daicos received from the Swans, labelling it "disgraceful" in a fiery spray on Nine's Footy Classified on Wednesday night.
“This sort of stuff, we‘ve got to get this out of the game,” McGuire said. “This was disgraceful on the weekend, we’re sick of it, you can‘t come back at people.
“And in fact, you wouldn‘t believe it, Josh Daicos got a $1,000 fine for protecting his brother from being attacked by five Swans. Collingwood players shouldn‘t have been fined. There should be a 50m penalty and a free kick. There’s no sportsmanship, it‘s pure bullying, it’s a waste of time.”
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 10, 2023
McGuire suggested that in order to stamp out the ugly practice, the AFL should adopt a controversial taunting policy that the NFL introduced in 2021. The American competition was widely ridiculed as being the "No Fun League" after a crackdown on taunting that led to a massive increase in flags for players. McGuire said the AFL would be well served by implementing something similar.
“Why don‘t we bring it in and clean the game up so that we don’t get cowards and thugs and all the other idiots running up and getting in the faces of players after they’ve missed a goal, trying to humiliate them?” McGuire asked. "Play the game like men – out.”
Footy fans were quick to pounce on McGuire's hot take, with many accusing him of only making a big deal out of the issue because it was a player from his beloved Collingwood being targeted. It sparked numerous responses from fans on social media, who posted videos to remind McGuire of all the times Magpies players were the ones doing the taunting.
You mean like when Howe, Moore, and Hoskin Elliott got into Henry when he missed the goal earlier in the year? Let go of it Eddie pic.twitter.com/Q5m8znpyoW
— Luke (@Lukethow) May 10, 2023
"Things getting out of hand here now" 👊
📺 Watch #AFLPiesTigers LIVE on ch. 504 or stream on Kayo: https://t.co/c5Vwhmfd1e
✍️ BLOG https://t.co/RPFfRxtZs8
🔢 MATCH CENTRE https://t.co/Enq7pPzty4 pic.twitter.com/RD8tXjjLyn
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) March 31, 2023
Curiously, the second-year AFL sensation at the centre of the debate said: "We love it when I get a tag", with Daicos arguing that it allows Collingwood to turn the situation to their advantage. “We think we can manipulate the opposition, get a one-versus-none, so it’s a good thing for us," he added.
“I’ve always got my teammates’ support, which I love. There was plenty of banter, but all good fun.”
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