AFL world savages Luke Beveridge over 'disgusting' attack on reporter

Luke Beveridge, pictured here launching a savage attack on AFL journalist Tom Morris.
Luke Beveridge launched a savage attack on AFL journalist Tom Morris. Image: Channel 7

Luke Beveridge has been widely condemned around the AFL world after the Western Bulldogs coach launched an extraordinary attack on journalist Tom Morris on Wednesday night.

Beveridge unleashed one of the fiercest sprays ever seen at an AFL press conference, berating the Fox Footy journalist and accusing him of causing "turmoil" at the club.

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In an extraordinary three-minute tirade, Beveridge blasted Morris over a report about Bulldogs premiership midfielder Lachie Hunter being dropped for their AFL grand final rematch against Melbourne on Wednesday night.

"You've got the nerve to ask me a question and even be here," Beveridge responded to a question from Morris about the pre-game saga surrounding Hunter.

"You've been preying on us and causing turmoil within our football club by declaring our team well before it needs to be declared.

"Is that the gutter journalist you want to be? We went in with a plan, we had some late stuff go on out in the warm-up.

"All the other stuff was according to plan right from the Sunday and somehow you've found out about that again.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, obviously we need to put our hand up to say there's some leakage going on."

The Bulldogs' 2016 premiership coach said Morris was "not welcome" at the press conference and Beveridge attempted to have him removed.

Beveridge went on to claim the report was "muck-raking trash", Morris was an "absolute embarrassment" and he was giving "everyone else a bad name".

Beveridge then stormed out of his media conference early after the Bulldogs' 26-point defeat to the Demons.

Lachie Hunter, pictured here leaving the field after the Western Bulldogs' loss to Melbourne.
Lachie Hunter leaves the field after the Western Bulldogs' loss to Melbourne. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL world fumes over 'disgusting' Luke Beveridge attack

The AFL world was left in complete shock after the extraordinary tirade, with many believing Beveridge was in the wrong.

“I was stunned,” former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said on Fox Footy.

“He’s admitted that there’s info getting out of his own football club that he’s not happy about.

“To say that Tom has taken advantage of that is like putting an Easter egg in front of a five-year-old kid and expecting him not to eat it when you walk out of the room. It’s there, it’s a free hit. And that is Tom’s job to share information that comes across, to check it, verify it and then share it.

“I understand Bevo’s perspective … in a coach’s position, you want to control all the information in your football club. Often the coach will be agitated but he won’t share that.

“That’s abnormal. We don’t see that very often. There’s going to be ramifications from that. Unfortunately this is a big story, it’s going to be replayed."

Luke Beveridge, pictured here during the Western Bulldogs' clash with Melbourne.
Luke Beveridge looks on during the Western Bulldogs' clash with Melbourne. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Demons great Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy: “To describe him as a gutter journalist was way over the top.

“I think he’s let himself down in this instance. I think the AFL won’t like that one bit and nor should they.

"The AFL media association won’t like that one bit. It’s a respect industry that we’re in and like it or not, Tom was doing nothing but his job.”

Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown said: “That’s poor form. Tom Morris is there to do his job. Bevo is there to coach his football team. Tom Morris is there to get news.

“It was about a dropped player, it wasn’t about a mental health issue or anything like that.”

Radio host Jedd Zetzer wrote on Twitter: “The way Luke Beveridge spoke to Tom Morris is nothing short of an absolute disgrace.

“Possibly Tom didn’t run the story past the WB before reporting it but that is not a requirement and Tom was just doing his job. Bevo really embarrassed himself tonight.

“Also to suggest that Tom was ‘preying’ on the club because he barracks for Melbourne and is ‘causing turmoil within the football club’ is just absolute madness.”

Football reporter Daniel Garb said Beveridge’s conduct was “pathetic”.

“Even if Tom was wrong, which he wasn’t, who deserves an attack like that in public over a player selection story?!” he wrote on Twitter.

“And he (Beveridge) talks about protecting mental health. Disgraceful.”

Rugby league journalist Chris Garry commented: “Disgusting from Luke Beveridge. Fans want to know who is really playing each round not the fake team list.

"Tom Morris is there to find truth rather than re-write a press release. Beveridge’s moronic behaviour provides insight to why staff are leaking against him.”

with AAP