Kane Cornes has continued to stay on the receiving end of criticism from his peers in the AFL media, with former Collingwood star Dale Thomas returning serve after Cornes name-checked him earlier in the week. Cornes, the former Port Adelaide star, has found himself at the centre of several long-running stories this season, culminating in Richmond coach and former teammate Damien Hardwick imploring him to 'get better' in his commentary.
Controversy to Cornes has been like a moth to a flame this season, with heated debates about the treatment of Jason Horne-Francis, as well as Richmond's recruiting of Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto generating some backlash. Cornes has hit back on several occasions, vociferously rebutting Hardwick's suggestion that he only makes the statements he does to 'generate clicks'.
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However in doing so when he appeared on Footy Classified on Monday, Cornes dragged Thomas into his defence, clipping the former Magpie, as well as fellow commentator Tony Shaw. Both had pointed out Cornes had called for Port Adelaide to pursue a trade for Taranto, who he criticised recently as having 'no impact' on Richmond games.
Cornes suggested Thomas and Shaw's employers should 'want their money back' after accusing the pair of simply trawling through his media segments over the past year for material. Thomas hit back at that suggestion on Triple M, saying he'd been specifically asked about those comments by co-host Jay Clark, before going on to lament what he considered was a marked change in how Cornes approached his commentary on the game.
“I questioned his comments, and it may have been 12 months ago, but they’re still factually, statistically, completely incorrect,” Thomas said. “We got asked about them by (Jay Clark) on Sunday, got asked about them on Monday, so I don’t think he needs to flatter himself with the fact that I’m just purely sifting through his crap and what he’s saying to have a hot take.
“It wasn’t a hot take, it was purely just a discussion in and around saying that Tim Taranto isn’t in the top 150 players is completely, factually and statistically incorrect. For him to come out and say ‘I’m sick of these media types having opinions on other media types’ opinions’, what is going through his brain at the moment?
“That is the entire industry, that’s a space that he lives in probably more so than any of us. The issue I have with Kane, and it wasn’t always because I think there was a time when he’d make a big statement and if he was wrong, he’d happily put his hand up and fall in behind and say ‘every now and then I get it wrong and I’m happy to continue with it.
“At the moment, his lack of want to put his hand up and admit that he’s got things wrong, this is clearly one of those situations. The only thing this does to Kane Cornes is start to damage what people think of his credibility and his statements.”
"Stop having opinions off other people's opinions. If I employed these people, I'd want my money back."
Kane Cornes returns serve at 'lazy' figures in the footy media. #9FootyClassified | Channel 9 📺 pic.twitter.com/sVlUIGRtC2
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 8, 2023
Kane Cornes defends his reputation amid AFL criticism
Following Richmond's win over West Coast last weekend, Hardwick had been quick to make light of Cornes' comments critical of the Tigers throughout this season. The Tigers coach said Cornes didn't 'genuinely believe' the criticism he was airing publicly about Taranto and Hopper in particular - a suggestion Cornes hit back at.
“I’ve never said anything for the sake of it, I’ve never said anything to get a click,” Cornes said. “I don’t get paid per click, I couldn’t care less if you click on it or not.
“I was a little bit surprised because I spoke to (Hardwick on Saturday) morning and we had that discussion. He rang me. I was surprised after the game he went public with that. But we had a good discussion.
“I said to him it was part of an extended chat on a radio show on a Friday morning that would have lasted five minutes. If you go and read the one headline which he would have done, and not listened to the whole conversation in its full context, then yes you could say that was said for clicks.
“One of his great strengths is his loyalty and support for his players, which we’ve seen for a number of years, and I admire that about him. It was a good discussion. We had a good chat, in the end we chatted about our families … he is a premiership teammate, he was one of my favourite teammates, I’ve got so much respect for him."
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