Veteran AFL commentator Bruce McAvaney has come under fire for ‘body-shaming’ Essendon player Jake Stringer during Friday night’s broadcast of their clash with Collingwood.
Fellow caller Brian Taylor was also criticised after the pair highlighted Stringer’s ‘big backside’, despite the Bombers star having booted the second of consecutive goals just moments before.
McAvaney and Taylor remarked that Stringer seemed to have added noticeable weight, suggesting the former Western Bulldog had problems with conditioning.
“He looks big to me,” McAvaney said.
“He doesn’t look as fit as I’ve seen him look. He’s big through the backside, he’s big through the legs. And the tummy as well. And yet, he’s kicked two goals.
“He’s done everything right, but he looks big doesn’t he.”
Taylor added to McAvaney’s comments, suggesting Stringer needed to be around teammates when training, otherwise he risked losing discipline.
“I reckon he’s one of the guys that needs to be with the group, under the pressure of training with the group, I reckon, to get the absolute best out of his body,” Taylor said.
“I personally believe he needs to train with the group.
“Now with the situation we’ve had over the last few months, it’s been hard for him to find quality time with the group.
“I know other players have done it, but he needs a little bit more coaching than others.”
Baffled response to Jake Stringer ‘body-shaming’
Fellow commentator and former player Wayne Carey was perplexed by the discussion.
The former North Melbourne champion challenged Taylor, but his co-host was determined to criticise Stringer.
“He definitely doesn’t have a six pack going at the moment,” Taylor said.
Fans were less than impressed with the discussion, with even Stringer’s former teammate Jarrad Grant taking aim at McAvaney and Taylor.
Bruce calling Jake Stringer “big” as in overweight is diplorable commentary.
— Jarrad Grant (@jarradgrant1) July 3, 2020
So we ok with Bruce saying Jake Stringer looks big in the backside and thick in the thighs after he kicks his second goal? BT inferring he’s carrying a muffin top. The Duck saying he doesn’t have a 6-pack. Is this ok now? #AFL #AFLPiesDons
— Paul Cochrane (@paulcochrane) July 3, 2020
Did Bruce just body shame Stringer?
The hell. Wow.
— Nikki Clare (@Niksterisms) July 3, 2020
Stringer limped off in the dying stages with a right ankle injury that could put a sour note on the victory.
The Bombers star headed straight to the change room and was later spotted on crutches before leaving the venue.
“I haven't really had a chance to look yet other than knowing he's got a sore ankle,” Essendon coach John Worsfold told reporters post-match.
“He was walking on it just then, so that's a good sign, but we have to now get it fully assessed going forward.”