Nathan Buckley says he made a mistake when he called out Essendon fans for booing Scott Pendlebury.
“Shame on anyone that booed a champion,” the Collingwood coach said over the loud speaker, blasting fans who booed his skipper when he was awarded the Anzac Medal.
Pendlebury copped a furious reaction from a heaving Essendon-dominated MCG crowd after the Magpies prevailed by four points in a scintillating Anzac Day clash.
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In all likelihood, Pendlebury was just in the wrong place at the wrong time given Bombers fans had earlier directed their ire at the umpires.
But Buckley was in no mood for excuses after Pendlebury’s words were drowned out while accepting a record-equalling third Anzac Medal.
“I would just like to acknowledge the fact that we are blessed to have an opportunity to play on this day to represent the AFL, so thank you to the Essendon football club,” Buckley continued.
“We as a football club are very proud to have the opportunity to represent on Anzac Day.”
Buckley doubled down on his stance while talking to Channel 7 after the game, but admits he should have called out all booing, not just the booing ‘of a champion’.
“I actually made a mistake, because I said ‘shame on booing a champion’,” he said.
“It’s not booing a champion, it’s just booing anyone.”
Pendlebury’s 38 disposals, seven marks, six tackles and four inside-50s made him a unanimous selection among the Anzac Medal’s three media judges.
Teammate Dayne Beams described the reaction from Essendon fans as “ridiculous”.
“He’s a champion of our game,” Beams said on SEN radio.
“He was a consistent four-quarter performer, and I’m not sure if there was too many of them for us tonight.
“He just led our footy club really well and continues to do so.”