Former AFL player turned commentator Kane Cornes has once again taken aim at Richmond livewire Sydney Stack, this time over a video of the 21-year-old backflipping off a cliff did the rounds.
Cornes was critical of Stack for his jump into the sea from a cliff on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, calling it an irresponsible move with the AFL season set to start in a month's time.
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The footage was posted to teammate Tom Lynch's Instagram page.
The Tigers are due to kick their season off on March 17, with Cornes taking aim at both Stack and Lynch for the stunt, despite his co-hosts on SEN Breakfast suggesting it wasn't as dangerous as he was making it out to be.
The former Port Adelaide premiership player didn't want to hear it though, claiming Stack was jeopardising his season for the sake of 'a couple of Instagram likes'.
"I thought, that could not be Sydney Stack 33 days out from round one when his career is on a knife's edge," Cornes said.
"What is the benefit other than a couple of Instagram likes?"
Stack signed a one-year contract extension with Richmond at the end of last year after a season of controversy, which began with a stint behind bars in Western Australia for breaching quarantine rules 2020.
The Tigers appeared to take notice of Cornes' comments on Monday morning, posting a 'throwback' to their pre-season camp several weeks ago which featured images of players jumping off cliff exactly as Stack had done.
Throwback to pre-season camp two weeks ago.
The boys loved all the activities Dimma put together 😃 pic.twitter.com/GY5ntR2TIu
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) February 13, 2022
After excelling in an otherwise breakout 2020 season, Cornes said the frequent controversies risked what otherwise could be a stellar career.
"He looks like he is an expert at doing backflips off cliffs. I wish he was an expert at playing football," Cornes quipped.
"In 2020 he breached protocols and the club was fined $100,000, last year he was arrested and fined $6000 for breaching quarantine.
"This is a guy who is that talented. It's going to be a travesty if he doesn't play for 12 years and 200 games."
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Lynch didn't escape a serve from Cornes either, with the highly-paid forward slammed for his role in the Instagram post.
Cornes said Lynch had damaged his hopes of captaining the Tigers, arguing he should have been thinking ahead to the upcoming season.
"The next day I pick up the paper and I read a story that Tom Lynch wants to be captain of Richmond," Cornes noted.
"If he wants to be captain of Richmond, he says to Stack, 'Hey Sydney, back off the cliff, we don't need you jumping and breaking your neck or breaking a leg'.
"He wants to be the captain, Tom Lynch? He films it and posts it to Instagram.
"This is a guy whose career is on life support and I see him doing backflips from seven or eight metres up into what appears to be shallow water.
"Jumping of a cliff and doing a backflip into shallow water is a risk I wouldn't be taking if my career was on life support 33 days out from round one."
Stack has long been a subject of Cornes' ire, hence some of the scepticism from the rest of the SEN panel when the topic came up.
Nevertheless, Cornes said Stack was lucky to have kept his career alive.
"I'm not for one minute comparing the seriousness of getting arrested and being locked up to jumping off a cliff, but when you weigh up the whole package and that he's very lucky to get a one-year contract extension at Richmond and he's very lucky to still be on an AFL list considering what he's put that club through," he said.
"I'm so shocked by it."
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