Caroline Willson has taken aim at Channel 7 AFL commentator Xavier Ellis after the former Hawthorn and West Coast player made an on-air joke about his pregnant wife over the weekend.
Ellis was hosting Channel 7’s coverage of the elimination final between West Coast and Collingwood on Saturday when James Brayshaw asked him about wife Emily O’Connell.
‘NO UNPROTECTED SEX’: AFL great's classic story amid baby dilemma
“Isn’t your much, much, much better half expecting?” Brayshaw asked.
To which Ellis responded: “Yes, at the end of the month. I’ve scheduled that in for Derby Day, so I’ll be watching the races while she gets to work.”
The Channel 7 commentators all laughed at Ellis’ remark, however Wilson didn’t find it funny at all.
"Enough of the boys club, lads."— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) October 5, 2020
Caroline Wilson has criticised Channel 7 and Xavier Ellis for a remark made during a broadcast on the weekend.#9FootyClassified | Watch @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/qzimS0OWTu
The veteran AFL journalist blasted Ellis and Channel 7’s “boys club” in a stinging rebuke on Channel Nine’s ‘Footy Classified’ on Monday night.
“Channel 7 and their footy coverage has been our friend all season,” Wilson said.
“They haven’t been perfect, but then, who has? Certainly not me, and they’ve made the best of a bad situation.
“But let’s face it; some things just aren’t picked up on or analysed or covered the way they should be when most of the footy commentators are on the other side of the country.
“We saw it time and time again over a brilliant week of football. But to be fair, most of the best and biggest moments were given their due.
“But how is it in a network where Daisy Pearce has become one of the best special commentators in the country, and the face of footy news is Jacqui Felgate, that we have to put up with rubbish like this?
“Enough of the boys club, lads … it was pathetic.”
Wilson said she’d be keeping an eye on her Channel Nine colleagues too.
“And Matthew (Lloyd), I’ve got my eye on your show on a Sunday - and you too Kane (Cornes) = so you won’t be getting off lightly if you come up with that sort of stuff,” she said.
Xavier Ellis apologises on social media
Ellis later issued an apology on social media after Wilson’s remarks.
“Just caught wind of Caro’s Arrow. I want to apologise if anyone found the comments I made on Saturday night offensive,” Ellis said in a video posted to Twitter.
“Obviously it wasn’t my intention; maybe just a poor attempt at some poor humour.
“Em’s (first) labour went for 24 hours last time, and while she slept, I did indeed watch the races to pass the time. And this year, her caesarean’s scheduled for Derby Day.
“So there’s the connection. Maybe it was just a poor attempt at some humour, and I do apologise if someone was offended, and I can guarantee that Emily isn’t.
“We’re just both excited to welcome number two into the world.”
Ellis played 120 AFL games across a 10-year career - seven with Hawthorn and three with West Coast.
He was part of Hawthorn’s premiership-winning side in 2008.
After retiring in 2016 he took up a career in the media, working multiple jobs in radio and TV.
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