The mobile phone saga court on camera between two Collingwood stars was a result of one them not thinking straight because he was still suffering from concussion, according to coach Nathan Buckley.
The AFL has asked for a 'Please explain' from Collingwood after an incident between Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe was picked up on the locker room camera.
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During their loss to West Coast on Friday, De Goey and Howe appeared to exchange a phone during the second-quarter after they were off the field due to injury.
The AFL prohibits the use of mobile phones during a game and only allows up to 10 staff members to have access, not players.
But Collingwood coach Buckley has defended the stars after claiming De Goey was concussed.
“I’d have to look up the meaning of a ‘misdemeanour’, but all I know is that the bloke we’re talking about that grabbed the phones had just been omitted from the game from concussion," Buckley said on Fox Sports' AFL 360.
"So he’s not thinking straight.”
When asked about whether an official should have been monitoring De Goey due to his injury, Buckley said the club were understaffed at the moment.
“We’re a little understaffed at the moment after COVID, so most of our people were hands on deck," he said.
Buckley defends De Goey
Buckley went on to claim that it is easy to go on and assume the worst of a player picking up a phone and saying, "Hey, put a million bucks on this."
“We do (protect against the worst) and I understand that and we do as a football club as well and we take full responsibility for this situation. But Jordan De Goey was concussed," he added.
The rules around mobile phone use during a game is in place to protect the integrity of the game.
The 27-point defeat to the Eagles at Optus Stadium left Collingwood at 1-4 with pressure mounting on Buckley, who is in his 10th season as coach.
One of the greatest players in the club's history, Buckley said he was determined to lead the Magpies out of their current predicament.
"I have a great passion for the club, I have a great passion for helping young men make their way through it, and we've been challenged quite a bit on and off the field as an organisation," Buckley said.
"You look at our win-loss right now, we're 1-4; I'm accountable to that, I take responsibility to that, but I also don't think it's dire."