‘Why would you boo him?’: Collingwood great condemns Buddy reception

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Key points

  • Collingwood great Nathan Buckley didn’t like Magpies fans booing Sydney’s Lance Franklin.
  • Swans supporters booed Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan in round 22 last year.
  • Coaches John Longmire and Craig McRae also spoke out against booing post-match.

Collingwood champion Nathan Buckley has called out the Magpies fans who booed Swans superstar Lance Franklin on Sunday, highlighting how it contrasted with the club’s values under Craig McRae.

Franklin, 36, may be playing the final season of his brilliant AFL career and could have just one match left at the MCG – the ground he once dominated for Hawthorn – if Sydney fail to make the finals.

Ex-Pies coach and playing great Nathan Buckley didn’t like the booing targeted at Lance Franklin.Credit: Getty Images

But a group of Collingwood supporters booed the legendary forward, who kicked only one behind from 13 disposals, each time he touched the ball in their clash at the home of Australian rules football at the weekend.

“I love the Collingwood faithful, but I’ve got a message [to the section of them booing Franklin],” ex-Pies coach-turned-media commentator Buckley told SEN.

“Your team is the toast of the town, and they’re handling themselves on and off the field with class and poise. So, let’s try and fall into line on the other side of the fence. At best, [the booing] was a begrudging acknowledgment of the sustained brilliance Franklin has brought against Collingwood, and at worst, it’s ignorance and bigotry.”

The jeering of Franklin followed Swans fans showering Magpies forward Jack Ginnivan with boos in round 22 last year when he appeared on the big screen with his hamstring on ice. The assumption at the time was they did so because of Ginnivan’s ability to draw high-tackle free kicks.

Collingwood’s Taylor Adams labelled those Sydney supporters “grubs”.

Buckley said he hoped Magpies fans get the opportunity to redeem themselves, which will happen only if the clubs meet in the finals, assuming Franklin retires at season’s end.

“If we get another chance; I hope Collingwood fans who aren’t ignorant [or] bigots – because there will be some booing – stand up and applaud every time he gets a touch and try and drown that [booing] out,” he said.

Jack Ginnivan was booed in last year’s clash with Sydney.Credit: Getty Images

“That’s exactly what the stars of the game and his status in the game deserves. We were gifted an opportunity to celebrate this undisputed champion and a section of the faithful chose to denigrate. I don’t think that we took the opportunity to do the right thing and take the higher ground.”

Sydney coach John Longmire also could not understand Franklin’s reception, while his Magpies counterpart McRae said he did not hear the booing but did not support it happening.

Longmire also condemned his own fans’ booing of Ginnivan in August last year, saying it was “important that we respect all players”.

“Why would you boo him?” Longmire said of Franklin. “You’d probably celebrate a 36-year-old, wouldn’t you, who’s been a champion of the game? It’s been 10 years since he played Collingwood here [while still playing for the Hawks]. Why would you boo one of the champions of the game? It doesn’t make sense.”

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