'Just wrong': Caroline Wilson fires up over controversial TV moment

·4-min read
Pictured left is AFL reporter Caroline Wilson and Swans player Paddy McCartin on the right.
Caroline Wilson says the Swans have no right to be angry over the Paddy McCartin footage that was broadcast on Anzac Day. Pic: Ch9/Fox Sports

Veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson says the Sydney Swans only have themselves to blame over the television footage of Paddy McCartin that left coach John Longmire less than impressed.

Longmire expressed his frustration that footage of a distraught McCartin was shown live during the Swans' win against Hawthorn on Anzac Day.

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The reborn defender was captured by cameras in the Swans' rooms after he was subbed out of the clash due to concussion.

McCartin has a long and torrid history with head knocks, and the former No.1 draft pick's career at St Kilda was cut short because of them.

Naturally, the sight of a distraught McCartin in the sheds sparked widespread concerns across the AFL community about the welfare of the 26-year-old.

However, Longmire said it was irresponsible of Fox Footy to broadcast footage of the player immediately after he went into the sheds, insisting McCartin was "feeling fine" in terms of his physical state.

"The complicating factor with Paddy was probably the vision and what the vision doesn't provide is context or background and leaves things open for interpretation without knowing the facts behind it," Longmire said.

"The reality was he felt fine, even though some people probably jumped to conclusions during the course of the game.

"He was just disappointed he couldn't get back out on the ground, first of all, then he knew it would rule him out for this week.

Longmire says he can understand the anxiety around McCartin because of his history with head knocks, but argued that the vision should not have been broadcast.

"It's about players' family, and friends and a whole network of people watching that as well," he added.

Discussing the controversy on Nine's Footy Classified on Wednesday night, Wilson vehemently disagreed with Longmire's argument.

Swans could have ushered Paddy McCartin into private room

The AFL journalist said if Sydney didn't want footage of McCartin to be broadcast to AFL fans then they should have taken him into a private room and away from the cameras in the Swans' sheds.

“I’ve got enormous respect for John Longmire but that is just wrong,” Wilson said

“It’s not fair what he said. I mean, if the Swans cared so much about the vision then they needed to send him straight into a separate room, into a doctor’s room or a trainer’s room.

“They didn’t have to put him where the cameras could see him. It was the Swans’ mistake.

“I don’t blame them. It was in the heat of battle and I don’t blame the media drawing conclusions.

“Seeing a shattered Paddy McCartin and everyone knowing his history and Paddy McCartin himself might have thought he was undergoing some problems.

“If it was that bad, maybe Sydney should have communicated more with the media who wanted to know what was going on.”

Seen here, Swans pair Tom McCartin and brother Paddy after the AFL round six match against Hawthorn.
Swans pair Tom McCartin and brother Paddy are seen after the round six match against Hawthorn in Launceston. Pic: Getty

Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon agreed with Wilson and said the Swans could have controlled the situation differently, if they chose to.

“It’s live theatre. I was watching it and I was fascinated by it. I understand the sensitivities and where John’s coming from but we know the environment we operate in, we know the interest," Lyon said.

“Every coach in the AFL says, ‘Control the controllables’. Well that applies to support staff as well as medical (staff). Control the controllable. I know there’s a room there, you just go to the left and you’re in private.

“But it was compelling TV. It’s sensitive on the families but it is what it is.”

McCartin will miss Sydney's blockbuster clash with Brisbane on Sunday due to the AFL's 12-day concussion protocols.

Longmire said the incident will be mentioned to the AFL and broadcasters but doesn't expect any changes to be made as a result.

with AAP

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