Geelong Cats player Tom Stewart has apologised to a young Auskicker after inadvertently snubbing her handshake on the podium after the AFL grand final.
As is tradition after the AFL decider, the winning players are presented with their premiership medals by young Auskick participants from around the country.
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The AFL players usually hand the youngsters a commemorative hat before the Auskicker places the medal around the players' necks.
The tradition usually makes for some lovely scenes, however things went wrong for Stewart after the grand final on Saturday.
The four-time All-Australian didn't realise the young girl had offered him a handshake after presenting him with the medal, with Stewart raising his arms into the air and inadvertently fresh-airing her.
To make matters worse, Stewart accidentally knocked the girl's hat off her head as he put his arms up.
Speaking on Channel 9 on Sunday morning, Stewart apologised for the gaffe and said he would send the young girl a gift to make amends.
“I got a bit overwhelmed and a bit excited and ended up knocking the hat off her head," he said.
“If anybody knows her and would like to reach out on my socials I’d really appreciate it.”
The brutal moment came in complete contrast to the actions of Geelong captain Joel Selwood, who was widely praised for an incredible gesture for his Auskicker.
Selwood said to Archie Stockdale - who won the Auskicker of the Year award - "I told you I was coming to see you", before handing him his game-worn boots.
Selwood is the talk of the AFL world following his fourth grand final triumph after another remarkable gesture for Geelong 'water boy' Sam Moorfoot.
Selwood was walking around the MCG after the game when he spotted Moorfoot - who has Down Syndrome and has been acting as the club's water boy during training sessions for a number of years - in the crowd.
The captain proceeded to lift Moorfoot onto the field to celebrate with the players, before Jeremy Cameron draped his medal around Moorfoot's neck.
Selwood also captured the hearts of fans before the game when he carried Gary Ablett's son Levi onto the field.
Levi Ablett suffers from a rare degenerative disease and is unable to walk, with the Abletts previously revealing that he doesn't have a very long life expectancy.
The contrast between Stewart and Selwood couldn’t have been bigger.
— Justin Anderson (@AussieSamurai) September 24, 2022
At least one very disappointed child left the MCG earlier this evening #AFLGF Not a good look Tom Stewart!
— Jonnybeegood 🌈 (@Jonnybeegood1) September 24, 2022
Tom Stewart rounds out an ordinary GF day performance by fresh airing the kid who awarded him his medal.
Meanwhile Selwood goes out of his way to interact with the kids after Geelong received the cup.
— The Rocks of GiBalta (@P_T_Ager) September 24, 2022
Tom Stewart the worst, even knocked the kids cap off grabbing his medal and no shake of the hand.
— Lulu (@LyndalPotter) September 24, 2022
I hate this. Players have just achieved the greatest success of thier lifetime and they're judged on how they shake hands with a random kid.
— Okey Dokey Stevie Wokey (@steveosaurusrx) September 24, 2022
That was sooo poor. 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
— Mister Bailey OAM (@MissBaileyWoof) September 24, 2022
Geelong defy age critics to win AFL grand final
Geelong emphatically silenced critics who doubted their ageing list would win a premiership, thrashing Sydney by 81 points.
The Cats fielded the oldest team in the league's 126-year history on Saturday but were full of running in a 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) victory in front of 100,024 fans at the MCG.
Their second flag under Chris Scott is their 10th overall and first since 2011, and follows a heartbreaking stretch of five preliminary final defeats and a grand final loss two years ago.
It confirmed Geelong's status as the best club of the 21st century, with four premierships from 12 final-four finishes in the past 16 years.
The victory margin with the fifth-highest in grand final history as the Cats restricted Sydney to their lowest score of the season.
"We never had any intention of trying to prove people wrong ... but it does feel like it's been a really long, challenging road," Scott told reporters.
"We've been consistent.
"But it feels as if it's been a bit of a cruel game because we've done everything we can to give all our people a chance and with that comes great emotional risk if you don't get it done at the end of the season."
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