Magpies apologise to Buddy Franklin after 'disgraceful' MCG scenes
Collingwood has apologised to Buddy Franklin and the Sydney Swans after the icon was booed during the Magpies' win at home on the weekend. The Magpies powered home in the final quarter to seal a 11.11 (77) to 6.12 (48) win over the Swans, but the victory was marred after Franklin was booed throughout the contest.
The move sparked coach John Longmire and his Collingwood counterpart Craig McRae to blast the treatment of the 36-year-old champion, who is playing what is expected to be the final season of a decorated career. And Collingwood icon Nathan Buckley was the latest AFL figure to blast the scenes as poor.
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While there has been plenty of anger of the treatment of the future AFL Hall of Fame star, Collingwood captain Darcy Moore, coach McRae and CEO Craig Kelly have formally apologised to Franklin and the Swans for the inappropriate scenes.
"We apologise to the Sydney Swans and to Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin. The Club does not support booing champions of the game," a club statement read, signed by the trio.
"Yesterday was the first time we played the Swans at the MCG in a decade – it provided an opportunity to respect a champion of the game and we fell short. Buddy is a great of Australian Football – what he has achieved on the field over a long period of time demands a high level of respect.
"To our Members and supporters, we are on an exciting journey at Collingwood and we do not take for granted the unwavering support you provide us with at every game – home or away. Our fans turn up like no other – you’re our 19th player – you’re loud, you’re passionate, you’re emotional.
"We hope the next time we get the chance to witness a champion of the game we treat them with respect, the same respect we ask for when it comes to our players and our champions. When our Club has the opportunity, we stand Side by Side with the greats of our game."
Nathan Buckley blasts Buddy Franklin treatment
Many fans described the treatment of the AFL great as "disgraceful" and "disgusting", with Buckley insisting that Franklin deserved to be "celebrated" for everything he's achieved in the game. The former Magpies coach described the Pies' fans as being ignorant for their treatment of Franklin and called on fans to help redeem the club in the near future.
“If we get another chance, I hope Collingwood fans that aren’t ignorant and that aren’t bigots – because there will be some booing – stand up and applaud every time he gets a touch and try and drown that (booing) out,” Buckley said on SEN Radio on Monday morning. “That’s exactly what the stars of the game and his status in the game deserves.
“We were gifted an opportunity to celebrate this undisputed champion and a section of the faithful chose to denigrate. I don’t think that we took the opportunity to do the right thing and take the higher ground.”
Not a great fan of Bucky but hats off to him for calling out the disgraceful booing of Buddy, one of the games greats.
— MrMouse (@MrMouse29547759) May 8, 2023
Sydney's coach said after the game against the Pies that he couldn't understand why opposition fans would target Franklin in that manner though.
"I don't know why they would - why were they booing him?," Longmire said post-match. "You'd probably celebrate a 36-year-old, wouldn't you, who's been a champion of the game? It's been 10 years since we've played Collingwood here ... it doesn't make sense."
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