Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd and iconic cricketer Shane Warne have hit out at Adam Goodes, alleging the AFL legend exaggerated contact on Saturday.
Lloyd and Warne both suggested Goodes, a dual Brownlow medallist and one of the most respected figures in the game, staged for a free kick in Sydney’s loss to Richmond.
“He’s better than that,” Lloyd said on the Nine Network.
“It’s something in the game currently that people are more and more aware of, and absolutely hate.
“I think it’s something (Swans coach) John Longmire should say to him: ‘pull up, just focus on the footy because you don’t need to do that’.”
Warne was more flippant, sending out a tweet during the game that asked his 1.67 million followers whether they were “annoyed when Adam Goodes always “stages” for free kicks?”.
The St Kilda fan and once-in-a-generation legspinner then said he was surprised Goodes was named Australian of the Year in January.
“Shocked as I just found out Goodes was Aust of the year, wow ! Who votes for that?,” Warne posted on Twitter.
Goodes was chosen for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against racism, in sport and wider society.
The 34-year-old formed the GO Foundation with Michael O’Loughlin in 2009, working with indigenous youth and focussing on education, employment and healthy lifestyles.
Goodes was widely praised for his response to two racial slurs last year, and is actively involved with several community programs.
Goodes replied to Warne on Sunday morning.
“ShaneWarne thanks for your support mate maybe ask gilly381 (Adam Gilchrist) who votes for it he is the chair of the Australia Day Council,” Goodes posted.
Warne was unswayed.
“adamroy37 Just stop staging for free kicks mate. You should be better than that as Aust of the year. Good luck in the finals,” he wrote.
When the council awarded the prestigious honour to Goodes, Warne’s former teammate Gilchrist reportedly said “people might debate if we made the right choice, but they can never say we made the wrong choice”.