AFL WAG Eva Mumford has launched a stinging attack at Sam Groth after the Aussie tennis star mocked players' concerns around the idea of virus hubs.
AFL players remain concerned about being separated from loved ones if they are forced into quarantine hubs.
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AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan and his decision makers are weighing up multiple states as potential bases for training, accommodation and matches in hubs to restart the 2020 competition.
Reports have emerged that some players would consider ‘boycotting’ the season if they were forced to move away from their loved ones for extended periods of time.
Presumably those players with partners and kids to worry about are the group that would be most affected by having to move away from their homes into a quarantine hub.
However, Groth weighed into the debate around the AFL proposal with a sarcastic crack on social media about players' concerns.
Imagine having to travel away from home, family and friends to get paid to play sport for an extended period of time, it’s unfathomable 🤦🏼♂️ https://t.co/uEWJztjmEs— Sam Groth (@SamGrothTennis) April 28, 2020
“Imagine having to travel away from home, family and friends to get paid to play sport for an extended period of time, it’s unfathomable,” Groth said.
The comment has prompted a savage response from Shane Mumford's wife, Eva, whose sister Johanna Konta just happens to be the World No.14 in women's tennis.
“Last time I checked tennis was an individual sport,” Eva wrote on Instagram.
“If your circumstances change, you also have the flexibility to accommodate those changes and not affect anyone else’s life.
“I’m sure it’s hard to comprehend, but we are talking about hundreds of people – each with different circumstances you have NO idea about – and it is important to make informed decisions that will benefit not only the mental health and wellbeing of the players, but ensure the quality of games that are to be played.”
The GWS ruckman's wife wasn't finished there, tagging Groth in another comment to illustrate the wage difference between AFL and tennis.
“Some of these guys will make less money for the remainder of the year than you would for making it past the first round of a Grand Slam,” she continued.
“Just because you CAN comment on things, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
Mumford left her most brutal message to Groth for last, insisting that tennis players knew their jobs involved long periods on the road, before signing off with a pair of rude finger emojis aimed at the Aussie tennis star.
“Imagine signing up to play a sport that requires you to travel far and wide knowing full well that was the case, but also getting paid bucket loads more AND having the option to take loved ones with you,” she wrote.
Families a key issue in AFL hub plan
Whether players are allowed to take families into quarantine hubs shapes as the most significant hurdle in negotiations as the AFL attempts to formulate a plan to restart the season.
AFL Players' Association boss Paul Marsh delivered the AFL's reboot plan to the playing group on Tuesday, with the "worst-case scenario" involving players staying in quarantine hubs for up to 20 weeks.
That would be split into two blocks, beginning with an eight-week period consisting of a compact training schedule followed by five weeks of matches.
Marsh stressed that was only a starting point in negotiations.
"The players want to do everything that they reasonably can to play but the world has shifted significantly here," he told SEN Breakfast on Wednesday.
"We're all of the understanding right now that the hubs are the only way we're realistically going to get the season started, given the border closures in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
"There's a bit to work through in terms of the detail around all of it and we've just got to keep working through it."
Marsh said players' individual circumstances relating to families and loved ones were a priority for the AFLPA.