Collingwood club president and Eddie McGuire and Fox Footy host Gerard Whateley had a heated dispute on Melbourne radio over the AFL’s mooted plans to restart the season.
Whateley dismissed the league’s plans to get games up and running using three quarantined ‘hubs’ in Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania as ‘immoral’ on Tuesday evening - earning McGuire’s ire in the process.
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McGuire responded to Whateley’s criticism on his morning show on Triple M, insisting the veteran reporter needed to ‘calm down’ about the proposal.
“We’re not going to drop (the players) in a spaceship on Mars or something,” McGuire said.
“The whole situation is when the time is right it might give us a month head start on Melbourne or Sydney — or two months head start — so we can get the season up and going.
“Settle down Gerard. Fair dinkum, calm down mate.
“It is simply this, if we get to a situation where this would be a good idea, then it’s a good idea.”
Whateley, in a separate appearance on SEN on Wednesday morning, continued his criticism of the AFL ‘hub’ plan.
His key critique of the plan was the impression it gives that the AFL, and by extension other sporting codes around the world, were ‘immune’ to the coronavirus pandemic while citizens were being asked to remain at home as much as possible.
“The mega quarantine hubs (proposal) carries the conceit that sport is somehow immune from a global pandemic and separate from what the community is being asked to do.” Whateley said.
“I said yesterday and I’m absolutely resolute on this now, that proposition is unreasonable, it’s inappropriate and it would be desperate.
“And you wouldn’t have to go too far to conclude that it’s also immoral.
“I don’t believe for a single second that the AFL administration would take our community down that path. I might ultimately be proved wrong, but I don’t believe for a second that is where we’ll end up.”
Gerard Whateley dismisses Seb Costello’s ‘confected conflict’
Whateley was also less than impressed when Triple M and Nine News reporter Seb Costello took to Twitter about his and McGuire’s disagreement, claiming the pair had ‘exchanged words’.
Following McGuire and Whateley’s radio appearences, Costello tweeted a video of both their radio segments - and egged Whateley on to debate McGuire live.
WATCH - There’s been a bit happening this morning!@GerardWhateley & Eddie McGuire have exchanged words over the plan to send @AFL teams to quarantine “hubs”.— Seb Costello (@SebCostello9) April 7, 2020
Hear what they’ve had to say (via @1116sen & @mmmhotbreakfast) in this video.
Who do you agree with? @FootyonNine @wwos pic.twitter.com/tWjd0ReA2Q
However, Whateley wasn’t having a bar of it.
“We have not “exchanged words” in any way whatsoever,” he wrote in response.
“Leave me out of the confected conflict.”
We have not “exchanged words” in any way whatsoever— Gerard Whateley (@GerardWhateley) April 7, 2020
Leave me out of the confected conflict
For his part, Costello continued to suggest a discussion between the two would be fruitful.
“It’s not confected. You have conflicting views,” Costello wrote.
“The video plays clips of what you each said on air and you both have powerful and respected voices in football. If you would like to be left out of public debate, why do you host a radio show?”