Collingwood fans under fire over 'disgusting' act during AFL grand final parade

Lachie Neale was booed by Magpies fans who are still salty about the Brownlow Medal result.

Lachie Neale, pictured here amidst booing from Collingwood fans during the AFL grand final parade.
Lachie Neale was booed by Collingwood fans during the AFL grand final parade. Image: Getty

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.

Chris Fagan and Lachie Neale, pictured here during the AFL grand final parade.
Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan and co-captain Lachie Neale during the AFL grand final parade. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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.”

Fans and spectators, pictured here at the 2023 AFL grand final parade in Melbourne.
Fans and spectators attend the 2023 AFL grand final parade in Melbourne. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Darcy Moore and Harris Andrews, pictured here with the AFL premiership cup during the grand final parade.
Darcy Moore and Harris Andrews hold aloft the AFL premiership cup during the grand final parade. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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.”

Discover more of our AFL finals coverage.

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.

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