Collingwood fans have been condemned on social media after booing Lachie Neale at the AFL grand final parade on Friday in Melbourne. The Magpies and Lions were paraded in front of fans during the traditional event on the eve of the grand final at the MCG.
But there was uproar around the AFL world when Lions co-captain Neale was loudly booed by Magpies fans in attendance. To make matters worse, Neale had his young daughter with him when he was targeted by fans.
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The treatment appears to be in relation to Neale's controversial Brownlow Medal victory on Monday night in which he pipped Collingwood young gun Nick Daicos and Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli. Neale won the prestigious medal after polling 31 votes throughout the year, just ahead of Bontempelli (29) and Daicos (28).
But Neale's triumph has come under immense scrutiny, with many highlighting a number of questionable votes that were awarded throughout the regular season. Many were left gobsmacked that Neale was given three votes from the umpires in a round six game against GWS in which a number of other players shined.
Neale had 20 disposals and seven kicks compared to Josh Kelly's 41 disposals and Stephen Coniglio's 38, while Charlie Cameron kicked seven goals. However the three votes went to Neale, despite him not even picking up any coach's votes for the game.
Collingwood fans were also left fuming that Daicos didn't get any votes for games in which he had 38 disposals and two goals (in round four against Brisbane) and 42 disposals (in round nine against GWS). Many pointed out that Neale didn't even make the All-Australian team this year, yet managed to scoop the game's highest individual honour.
Outrage over 'disgusting' scenes at AFL grand final parade
Amidst the furore, Neale actually paid a classy tribute to Daicos and said the 20-year-old definitely would have won if not for the injury that saw him miss the final three games of the regular season. “I want to give a shout out to Nick Daicos,” Neale said on Tuesday. “He‘s had such an amazing season so far and it hasn’t finished for him yet either.
“If it wasn’t for his injury, I think the medal would have been his and he would have been a thoroughly deserving winner. I feel for Nick. He’s had so much pressure and intensity and scrutiny on him this year. The way that he‘s performed this year has been amazing to watch.”
Neale admitted he was "surprised" to poll three votes in the GWS game, but said: "That’s the beauty of the Brownlow." The Lions co-captain said there were games later in the season in which he thought he would have garnered more votes but didn't.
“There were probably games where I thought I would poll a bit later through the middle part of the season where I didn’t pick up votes, or polled one where I thought I might get two or three that game, so I think it comes around in swings and roundabouts," he added. “I was lucky in that game to poll but maybe unlucky in some others. You never know how the umpires are going to vote, and (I was) fortunate that it fell my way in the end.”
Needless to say, the booing of Neale on Friday went down like a lead balloon. AFL fans on social media labelled the treatment from Collingwood fans 'disgusting' and 'classless', however others suggested Collingwood players had been booed by Lions supporters as well.
I saw one comment who said it was ok to boo the fake Brownlow winner.The same person also urged all fellow Pies fans to boo every time Zorko touches the footy🤦♂️
— Derek Mathieson (@dingoderek) September 29, 2023
Thought it was pretty straight forward, but the answer is to just shut up. It’s actually so much less effort to be respectful
— brisbanelions4life (@BL4L_) September 29, 2023
Carlton and Collingwood as bad as each other. Booing opposition it's disgusting, save it for the game and when Lions are being handed premiership medals.
— paulstama (@paulstama83) September 29, 2023
Collingwood fans booing Lachie Neale because Nick Daicos finished 3rd in Brownlow is just rank isn’t it
— Kyle Stephens (@KyleStephens97) September 29, 2023
They are disgusting lions by 8 goals
— Emma (@emhoy) September 29, 2023
Oppo fans, Collingwood fans are so feral for booing the Lions players....wtf stfu we're not gonna cheer them 🙄
— 🤍🖤Rebecca Kelly🖤🤍 (@BecLovesThePies) September 29, 2023
Daicos wouldn’t have won anyway if Neale didn’t. Collingwood fans don’t know maths though I suppose
— Hutdiggity (@Hutdiggity) September 29, 2023
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