AFL legend's daughter slams 'disgusting' Kane Cornes comments

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Kate Jesaulenko has described Kane Cornes' comments as 'disgusting'. Image: Channel Nine/Instagram

Alex Jesaulenko’s daughter has torn shreds off Kane Cornes after the outspoken former player declared her dad’s iconic mark was ‘overrated’.

Cornes caused controversy recently with his comments about Jesaulenko’s famous specky in the 1970 grand final.

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Many footy fans consider it one of the greatest marks ever taken, however Cornes doesn’t even think it’s in the top 50.

Jesaulenko’s daughter Kate was so furious about Cornes’ comments that she rang SEN radio on Wednesday night and took aim.

“I’m absolutely furious that Kane Cornes would come out and say dad’s mark was overrated – I find it disgusting and disgraceful,” Kate said.

“I cannot believe that he would come out and make such a comment not only of an iconic footballer, but an iconic father and an iconic husband – I am beside myself; I just cannot believe it.

“‘Jesaulenko, you beauty’ is one of the iconic moments in Australian football and for him to come out and try to degrade it.

“I don’t know if he is looking for a contract, I don’t know if his contract is about to run up, I don’t know if he is trying to cause controversy, but I don’t know who Kane Cornes is and who he thinks he is bagging my father and saying that he is overrated – it is disgraceful, it is disgusting, he is bagging a legend of the game.

“I think his comments were absolutely disgraceful and there is no place in football for him to say what he said.”

Alex Jesaulenko in action during the 1979 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwood. (Photo by Getty Images)

Eddie McGuire continues attack on Cornes

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire also took exception to Cornes’ comments, claiming the Port Adelaide great was simply trying to bring down Victorian football.

“I'm sick of the South Australians, and particularly the Cornes family, denigrating anything good that's from the VFL and the AFL,” McGuire told Footy Classified.

“Come on, Kane. Mate, that's like saying the Mona Lisa is just a painting. It's like saying the Statue of David is just a sculpture. It's like saying Shakespeare was just a playwright.

“I'll tell you why it's the greatest mark of all-time, because 121,696 people were seeing Collingwood kill Carlton at that stage until Jesaulenko took that mark and then framed the biggest comeback in the history of the game in the most seminal match ever played.

“It put my club away for 20 years. Jezza's mark, and the rest of his game, was the stuff of folklore. It was why kids of my generation said 'Jezza!' every time they jumped for a ball.

“Come on, Kane, you've got the feel of a tax auditor, the sense of occasion of a parking inspector, and the sense of romance of a Tinder dater.”

Kane Cornes stands by his comments

But Cornes is sticking by his comments after the backlash.

“If she thinks that saying ‘overrated’ is ‘disgraceful’, Kate needs to have a look at my Twitter or have a look at some other things happening,” he said of Kate’s comments on SEN on Thursday morning.

“Overrated, I wouldn’t have thought, was a disgraceful comment. But, anyway, I understand families get emotional and he is an icon of the game.

“It was nothing ever personal to Jesaulenko, who is an AFL legend, there’s no doubt about that.

“But just the mark (is overrated) – and I’ll continue to say that for Eddie and for Kate’s sake, once again, for the 15th time.”

Cornes agreed with McGuire about the sense of occasion surrounding Jesaulenko’s mark, but stood by his stance on the mark itself.

“I don’t really disagree with anything Eddie said – other than the fact where he said it’s the greatest mark of all time,” Cornes said.

“The occasion, the moment, what it means for AFL football, the kids running around saying ‘Jesaulenko you beauty’ – that is all true.

“(But) if you put the mark and you get rid of the commentary and you get rid of the fact that it was played in a Grand Final in front of 120,000 and you put it up against 15 of Jeremy Howe’s marks with no sound – and not understanding when the mark was taken – the actual mark itself is overrated.

“I’ll stand by that until I’m blue in the face.”