Andrew Gaze hits out over 'uncomfortable' scenes at Brownlow Medal

Patrick Cripps, pictured here celebrating his Brownlow Medal triumph with his partner.
Patrick Cripps celebrates his Brownlow Medal triumph with his partner. Image: Getty

Aussie basketball legend Andrew Gaze has called out 'uncomfortable' scenes of excessive drinking at the AFL's Brownlow Medal ceremony.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan had to ask for some quiet a number of times throughout the vote count as players got a bit rowdy while watching on.

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Speaking on SEN radio on Monday, Gaze said he didn't think it was a good look to see players repeatedly downing drinks when on camera.

“I understand that I’m at that demographic now where you can get a little oversensitive to stuff that’s not that significant,” he said.

“It’s the end of the season, I get it. Players are finished, they’ve worked their tails off for a long period of time, they need to be able to unwind and have a good time.

“I just felt a little - and this is the dad in me - a little uncomfortable with the drinking, like it was some kind of game they were playing, ‘Skoll a beer when you get a vote and chuck the black glasses on’.

“What it does is it normalises behaviour that I think is not a good message for kids.

“We’re in school holidays and there’s a lot of kids watching it. Again, in the big scheme of things, I’m sure most of the people there were very well behaved, but it is still a look that is being presented by heroes.

“You hear Patrick Cripps talking about how he looked up to (Ben Cousins and Chris Judd on Brownlow night).

“To see some of those guys that young kids idolise skolling beers – they’re having a good time and I understand that … I just think if there was a way in which the players could enjoy themselves, and have a little in excess, but in front of the camera – drinking responsibly should be part of what they do.”

Aaron Naughton, pictured here with housemate Ethan McAleese at the Brownlow Medal ceremony.
Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs with housemate Ethan McAleese at the Brownlow Medal ceremony. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Patrick Cripps bleary-eyed after winning Brownlow Medal

Speaking after his Brownlow Medal victory, Carlton captain Cripps told Channel 9 he was close to '10 out of 10' hungover.

“I’ve had a few mates here and family to celebrate. It’s a weird feeling being outside so early, but it’s all worth it," he told the Today Show.

“I’m crying out for a bit of sleep right now.

“Nah you’ve got to do it. It’s all worth it when you win the Brownlow. I’ve just got to keep punching out the next few hours then I’ll be hitting the pillow pretty quick.

“Mate, my eyes, once I’ve had two beers I’m done. You can tell with my eyes, I left my eyes at the count last night.”

Cripps revealed how the death of Queen Elizabeth II threw his plans to rest up before the Brownlow completely out the window.

Patrick Cripps, pictured here being congratulated by Ollie Wines after winning the Brownlow Medal.
Patrick Cripps (R) is congratulated by Ollie Wines after winning the Brownlow Medal. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via Getty Images) (via Getty Images)

The AFL's night of nights is usually held on the Monday of grand final week, but was brought forward to Sunday so it didn't clash with the Queen's funeral in the UK.

In Santorini for a cousin's wedding, Cripps only arrived back in Melbourne on Saturday night and had to power through until Monday with little or no sleep.

But after spending the night celebrating with family and friends with the Charlie Brownlow draped around his neck, a bleary-eyed Cripps said sleep could wait.

"I feel a bit jet-lagged now from staying up all night but sometimes you've got to do it - you don't get moments like this much in your life so you've got to do it," Cripps told reporters.

"Winning it is a moment I will look back on and be grateful to have that experience and it's something I will cherish for a long time."

with AAP

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