'Can get someone killed': Disbelief over AFL players' 'dumb' act amid crisis

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read

Leading AFL journo Craig Hutchison has delivered a withering rebuke for two North Melbourne players who threw a party in the face of strict social-distancing measures.

Housemates Nick Larkey and Cameron Zurhaar, both 21, were the hosts of a gathering in Kensington on Sunday night, hours after playing in the Kangaroos' win over St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

Patricia Ky, an anaesthetist at Royal Melbourne Hospital, told the ABC she approached the boys and asked them to stop the party.

“We all work together so if one of us has it, we all have it,” she claims was the response.

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"I spoke to them early in the evening and asked them to keep in mind social distancing, they failed to heed that advice and this morning when I came home from work they were still out, wandering in and out of the house.

"They're feeling young and invincible and that they're willing to risk asymptomatically infecting themselves in order to not suffer any inconvenience to their social lives and they're completely disregarding the risk they pose to others as they all leave that house.”

Cameron Zurhaar and Nick Larkey, pictured here in action for North Melbourne.
Cameron Zurhaar and Nick Larkey. Image: Getty

Speaking on Footy Classified on Monday night, Hutchison blasted the players.

“On face value, this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen,” Hutchison said.

“It’s decisions like that, as hard as this is to understand, that can cause a passage of this illness that can get someone killed.”

Co-host Caroline Wilson suggested the players had been sent mixed messages because they were allowed to play AFL, but Hutchison wasn’t buying it.

“That was a decision (to play footy) that they were asked to make, and they made it,” he said.

“They weren’t asked to take that home with them and to bring other people into their homes.”

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Kangaroos players apologise for party

The Kangaroos followed up on a neighbour's complaint on Monday morning.

“The club has spoken to Nick Larkey and Cameron Zurhaar about a gathering at their home last night, which caused a disturbance to neighbours,” the club said in a statement on Monday.

“Both players have apologised unreservedly for the noise created and have acknowledged their actions were inappropriate given the current climate and social distancing measures.

“The club understands police were not called to the address.

“The players have been encouraged to apologise to their neighbours in person.”

The incident comes after the AFL announced a shutdown of the competition until at least May 31 to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, former AFLW player Meg Hutchins has taken to social media to call out players who had planned 'Mad Monday' celebrations after the sudden cancellation of the women's competition.

Hutchins tweeted: "Take note any #AFLW player(s) planning any form of end of season Mad Monday type of gathering. I've already seen a few over social media in the last 24-hours...... pull your heads in, stop being selfish, and be the role models you are privileged to be.”

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with AAP