Melbourne veteran Jordan Lewis has become another AFL star to rip into Kane Cornes for his inflammatory comments.
Lewis was the subject of the former Port Adelaide player's latest attack after the Demons were humbled by St Kilda on Saturday.
"It’s nice to top up your retirement fund but we want to remember you as a four-time premiership player at Hawthorn," Cornes said of Lewis on Channel Nine.
"We don’t want to remember you as what we saw yesterday. They just couldn’t hide him on the field yesterday. Why Melbourne are selecting him now is a mystery.”
The game was Lewis’s first at AFL level for 2019.
Richmond star Jack Riewoldt wasted no time targeting Cornes in return, suggesting retired players were too quick to stick the boot in.
"I think that some players and some media people have got short memories of their own careers," Riewoldt said on Fox Sports.
A day later Lewis himself had the chance to reply, revealing Cornes's comments had made their way to him through the grapevine.
“I think that’s an embarrassing comment, absolutely embarrassing and I think he’s got a track record," Lewis said.
"That’s the path that he goes down, so I think as players, everybody knows that.
"But to say someone plays purely for their super fund, I think it’s a little bit disrespectful to be honest."
The former Hawks great said he had no issues with anyone criticising his play but he drew the line at criticism over why he is still out on the field.
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin, acknowledging Lewis had failed to live up to his high expectations in his first game back, also slammed Cornes on Tuesday.
“What I will defend is what Jordan gives to this footy club, also to Hawthorn and the game,” he said.
“And I think we need to respect that. Some of those comments, that are quite insulting to our people, I will defend them strongly.”
Dees hurt by coach’s whack
Melbourne's underperforming AFL players were stung by Goodwin's criticism that they are too easy to play against, vowing to rectify that on Anzac Day eve.
The Demons (1-4) face a four-day break before tackling Richmond (3-2) on the marquee occasion.
A round four win over Sydney at the SCG raised hopes that Melbourne, popular pre-season flag picks, might have flicked the switch on their poor season.
That mirage was made clear on Saturday at the MCG when upstarts St Kilda smashed them by seven goals, prompting the easy beats admission from Goodwin.
Demons skipper Jack Viney says Goodwin's comments "hurt absolutely".
"We go out there to be the best versions of ourselves and as a collective we want to play hard footy and we want to win," he said.
"We're not doing that and as a result we're not winning. We've got to change that."
Two issues have plagued Goodwin's side; a lack of contested ball winners and a failure to convert their inside-50s.
Viney said contested ball should be an easier fix than the forward-line connection.
"What made us a great football team and what we've built, when we've played our best football, has been around the contest side of the game," he said.
"We haven't really clicked there just yet. Whilst you can look for alternatives ... I know we can get back to the contest stuff and it's not too hard to get back.
"(Going forward) there's obviously a disconnect from all three lines. It's a team issue, rather than it is a chemistry, a connection. We'll keep chipping away."