Western Bulldogs player Zaine Cordy has faced criticism after images surfaced of him slumped against the wall of a Melbourne pub after the club's Mad Monday function following their finals loss to Fremantle.
In the photos, Cordy can be seen being helped to his feet and into a taxi by teammates Tom Liberatore and Ryan Gardner.
The Bulldogs were marking the end of their season, which was brought about in an elimination final loss to Fremantle in Perth, at the Railway Hotel in Yarraville on Monday.
Cordy was photographed sitting against the wall of the pub before he was helped into the taxi.
While there is no suggestion Cordy has done anything wrong, AFL legend Matthew Lloyd said it was an 'absolutely embarrassing' look for the Bulldogs and Cordy.
Lloyd said was a moment for other young players to learn from, suggesting the competition's top players wouldn't let themselves get in such a state, even on an occasion like Mad Monday.
"That's embarassing. Absolutely embarrassing for a league footballer to be in that state"
Matthew Lloyd on the state Zaine Cordy got himself into during the Western Bulldogs' mad Monday, as he reviews the club's season. #9Footyclassified | Watch on @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/T6VyM2YYtB
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) September 7, 2022
“I hated this from the Mad Monday at the Western Bulldogs. This is a horrible look for any league footballer,” Lloyd said on Channel 9's Footy Classified.
“This is Zaine Cordy, on the Mad Monday. Now I’ll ask Zaine; would you ever see your captain this state? Would you ever see (Scott) Pendlebury, Lachie Neale, all the great players? (Christian) Petracca, (Clayton) Oliver?
“That’s embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing for a league footballer to be in that state, even at end-of-season drinks.
“Be in control. Imagine you’re a young first-year player looking at that, and he’s been in the system for nearly 10 years.”
Footy Classified co-host Caroline Wilson concurred, saying the Bulldogs ought to consider whether their off-field culture was serving their interests on the field.
“It is disappointing," Wilson said.
“They’ve had some serious off-field discipline issues over the last couple of years, the Bulldogs, and that still continues to haunt them, to dog them, doesn’t it?”
Western Bulldogs' off-field woes rear their head once more
It's not the first time in 2022 that the off-field activities of the Bulldogs have been put under the spotlight, with young gun Bailey Smith accepting a two-match ban for conduct unbecoming earlier this year.
Footage that dated back to late last year emerged in June showing Smith with a bag of white powder, which the 21-year-old admitted was an illicit substance.
Smith was interviewed by AFL officials as part of an integrity unit investigation and later handed a two-game suspension for using an illicit substance.
The AFL found Smith guilty of "conduct unbecoming" and also handed him a "notifiable adverse finding", or strike, under the league's illicit drugs policy.
Video and images emerged last week of Smith with a white powder, with the 21-year-old later apologising for "indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed".
The Bulldogs accepted the AFL's sanction and stressed they would continue to support Smith, who had said the illicit drug use came as he struggled with his mental health.
"Bailey has shown clear contrition and remorse over recent days, and has spoken openly and maturely about his challenges," Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said.
"As we have stated, we do not condone the behaviour in question and remain very disappointed it occurred.
"We are pleased however that Bailey has assumed unqualified responsibility for the mistake he has made and is intent on learning from it.
"We will continue to strongly support Bailey through this difficult period. Our primary responsibility to him and all of our players is to ensure that their health and wellbeing is safeguarded."
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