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Collingwood forward Jordan de Goey has accused critics of running a campaign tantamount to 'persecution of athletes' after the controversy surrounding his trip to Bali.
De Goey was filmed partying in a Bali nightclub during his mid-season break this weekend, with one clip showing him attempt to expose the breasts of a female companion.
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His actions, though he wasn't accused of any wrongdoing, drew substantial criticism from a range of AFL pundits for his crude behaviour, as well as questions as to why Collingwood allowed him to travel overseas at all after his arrest in New York last December.
The woman also seen in the videos, Remy Jackson, posted an Instagram story on Saturday afternoon declaring there was 'nothing to see here' regarding the videos.
De Goey has since taken to his own Instagram page, lashing out at the 'relentless pursuit' of athletes.
“I want to take the opportunity to thank my family, friends and supporters who have checked in or sent messages of support in the past 24 hours,” he wrote.
“I want to openly address the relentless pursuit and persecution of athletes by the media to create an uneducated, bias and ill-informed narrative that has gone too far.
“I am one of the lucky ones with amazing support, however not all athletes are so lucky.
“This will end in tragedy if no one speaks up.
“It’s time for change."
On Saturday morning, prior to the posts from Jackson and De Goey, Collingwood announced they were looking into the videos and would comment on them at a later time.
“The Collingwood Football Club is aware of video footage involving player Jordan De Goey that was taken in Bali in recent days. The Club will comment further as soon as it is in a position to do so,” the statement read.
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De Goey falls off-contract with the Magpies at season's end and was permitted by the club to travel to Bali during their 12-day mid-season bye.
But the move sparked outrage among AFL pundits, with Collingwood's 1990 premiership captain Tony Shaw among them.
"He's probably not a smart person ... that's twice now," Shaw told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
"If I'm the football club, I would say, do you understand what you have done?
"Even though you don't know because you're probably stupid and you don't understand that this has been seen in the light it's been in Melbourne."
Retired St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt labelled De Goey as selfish.
"You always get a pretty good indication of someone's professionalism and how much they care about their career when you look at the choices they make," Riewoldt told Fox Footy.
"Every player has the right to go abroad during the break.
"But it's a choice ... Jordan chose indulgence over discipline in this case.
" ... Unfortunately it seems to be a pretty regular theme for him that he prefers pampering over discipline from a football point of view."
Riewoldt's fellow Fox Footy commentator, Geelong premiership player Cameron Mooney, said the Magpies were "idiots" for allowing De Goey to travel.
"I am staggered the club let him go," Mooney said on Fox Footy.
"Whatever happens from here, Collingwood, it's on you.
"It's the stupidest decision I have ever seen a football club make."
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