The Sydney Swans coach has been criticized after he said vision of one of his players in a vulnerable moment shouldn’t been allowed on TV.
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire has been criticized for his comments after he said vision of a distraught Paddy McCartin in the change rooms shouldn’t have been aired on TV.
McCartin suffered a head knock in the Swans’ win over Hawthorn on Monday and was visibly upset when he came from the field and went down to the change rooms.
The former No. 1 draft pick, who missed three seasons after a series of concussion issues, will miss this week’s clash with Brisbane through concussion protocols but is ”absolutely fine”.
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Longmire said the vision of McCartin’s distress shouldn’t have been aired without the correct information.
He said the immediate reaction to McCartin’s concussion was “inflamed by the vision” that showed his emotional reaction to being subbed out and sparked fears for his immediate and long-term future.
“Personally I don’t think the vision should be shown in those situations,” Longmire said on Wednesday.
“I think the responsibility is to get the facts first and don’t go without any context. I think that’s maybe an issue for the AFL Players Association to take up.
“It’s not just about the fans, it’s about a player’s family and their friends and a whole network of people who are watching that and are impacted by the commentary and influenced by the speculation. It’s not just the general punter.
“I understand people seeing the vision before the game and in the warm-up, but in moments where you are not quite sure of the background … we have to take a deep breath and find out a few of the facts before running with it.
“He (McCartin) felt terrific, his emotion was purely based on the fact he’d been ruled out of the game and would miss a match.
“You can understand there’s a bit of anxiety with Paddy as well going into that process after what he’s been through, particularly when he feels really good.
“He understands the doctors ruled him out and we absolutely back our doctors in. That was the context behind the vision and I’m not sure too many people took that in.”
But veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson believes Longmire was wrong to criticize the broadcasters when McCartin could have been taken to a private area away from the cameras.
“I’ve got enormous respect for John Longmire but that is just wrong,” Wilson said on Footy Classified on Wednesday night.
“It’s not fair what he said. I mean, if the Swans cared so much about the vision then they needed to send him straight into a separate room, into a doctor’s room or a trainer’s room.
“They didn’t have to put him where the cameras could see him. It was the Swans’ mistake.
“I don’t blame them. It was in the heat of battle and I don’t blame the media drawing conclusions.
“Seeing a shattered Paddy McCartin and everyone knowing his history and Paddy McCartin himself might have thought he was undergoing some problems.
“If it was that bad, maybe Sydney should have communicated more with the media who wanted to know what was going on.”
Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon agreed.
“We know the environment,” he said.
“It’s live theatre. I was watching it and I was fascinated by it. I understand the sensitivities and where John’s coming from but we know the environment we operate in, we know the interest.
“Every coach in the AFL says, ‘Control the controllables’. Well that applies to support staff as well as medical (staff). Control the controllable. I know there’s a room there, you just go to the left and you’re in private.
“But it was compelling TV. It’s sensitive on the families but it is what it is.”
Longmire said the use of such vision “will be mentioned” to the AFL, but he didn’t expect a change.
“It’s a personal view I’ve got. It’s invasive into a player’s personal space in those moments,” he said.
“I don’t expect anything to be done about it … it would be good if it was. It would be good if it was a consideration.
“Both of them are really good and both of them felt good after the game.”