Infotainment Factory: Buckley defends holidaying banned star

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Monday, 22 July 2019

Buckley defends holidaying banned star


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Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has launched a strong defence of suspended Magpies star Jaidyn Stephenson, following criticism levelled at the 20-year-old for posting photos to social media of a trip to Queensland during his ban for gambling on AFL matches.

Stephenson was banned for 10 weeks for betting on his side's matches along with a $20,000 fine a little over a month ago.

The Magpies forward's omission from the team has been disastrous for Buckley's men, with frustrated fans taking aim at the banned player as the club slips out of top four contention after losing three of their last five clashes.

While his team goes through a rough patch, the suspended star has been lapping it up in Queensland, and his decision to post a couple of snaps of him enjoying his time in the sunshine has been slammed by fans and labelled "stupid" by pundits.

However, Buckley was critical about the reaction to Stephenson's holiday, which was permitted by the club.

"How dare he be human. What about the ignorance of him to be a human in this environment? I just can't believe Stevo (Stephenson) would go and live his life with the rubber stamping of the football club and the understanding of what his program has been," Buckley told SEN on Tuesday.

"It's everything that is wrong with the way that we report or the expectations that we have around people in the industry.

"You can go to it wherever you like and however you like about what people's expectations are of Jaidyn Stephenson's situation and the circumstances he's been a part of this year, and the club that he is a part of, and everyone else can have whatever opinion they would like about this circumstance."

Jaidyn Stephenson

The Magpies' coach said the time away was scheduled with the blessing of the club and that it was always planned by both parties that he would have a week off after putting in the hard yards at training.

"He has had a pretty strong four-week block where pretty much he is the best trainer on the track because he's tipping in to the club's endeavours the best way he possibly can given the circumstances," he said.

"We collectively, and this was part of his plan, to spend a week away with his family to recharge and then to come back for another heavy month to prepare him for whatever is beyond that.

"The young fella has been exemplary in the way that he has handled himself. I don't know how many times I have to say that. It doesn't get any cut-through because it's not sexy enough, it's not controversial enough."

Sydney Kings star Andrew Bogut hit out at those critical of the star for letting his hair down, pointing to the negative reporting as part of the reason why professional athletes experience struggles with mental health.

https://twitter.com/andrewbogut/status/1153246046182502401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Buckley agreed with Bogut's perspective, highlighting the hypocrisy at play.

"I saw Andrew Bogut's comments and he is spot on," Buckley added.

"This is a case of if in another universe we'd played great footy in the last four weeks and maximised what we'd had in front of us, we wouldn't be seeing that or it wouldn't be as prevalent and wouldn't be criticized."

"So why does the circumstances change the action? If the kid goes on holiday and doesn't post a photo, does that make it any better or any worse?"

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has launched a strong defence of suspended Magpies star Jaidyn Stephenson, following criticism levelled at the 20-year-old for posting photos to social media of a trip to Queensland during his ban for gambling on AFL matches.

Stephenson was banned for 10 weeks for betting on his side's matches along with a $20,000 fine a little over a month ago.

The Magpies forward's omission from the team has been disastrous for Buckley's men, with frustrated fans taking aim at the banned player as the club slips out of top four contention after losing three of their last five clashes.

While his team goes through a rough patch, the suspended star has been lapping it up in Queensland, and his decision to post a couple of snaps of him enjoying his time in the sunshine has been slammed by fans and labelled "stupid" by pundits.

However, Buckley was critical about the reaction to Stephenson's holiday, which was permitted by the club.

"How dare he be human. What about the ignorance of him to be a human in this environment? I just can't believe Stevo (Stephenson) would go and live his life with the rubber stamping of the football club and the understanding of what his program has been," Buckley told SEN on Tuesday.

"It's everything that is wrong with the way that we report or the expectations that we have around people in the industry.

"You can go to it wherever you like and however you like about what people's expectations are of Jaidyn Stephenson's situation and the circumstances he's been a part of this year, and the club that he is a part of, and everyone else can have whatever opinion they would like about this circumstance."

Jaidyn Stephenson

The Magpies' coach said the time away was scheduled with the blessing of the club and that it was always planned by both parties that he would have a week off after putting in the hard yards at training.

"He has had a pretty strong four-week block where pretty much he is the best trainer on the track because he's tipping in to the club's endeavours the best way he possibly can given the circumstances," he said.

"We collectively, and this was part of his plan, to spend a week away with his family to recharge and then to come back for another heavy month to prepare him for whatever is beyond that.

"The young fella has been exemplary in the way that he has handled himself. I don't know how many times I have to say that. It doesn't get any cut-through because it's not sexy enough, it's not controversial enough."

Sydney Kings star Andrew Bogut hit out at those critical of the star for letting his hair down, pointing to the negative reporting as part of the reason why professional athletes experience struggles with mental health.

https://twitter.com/andrewbogut/status/1153246046182502401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Buckley agreed with Bogut's perspective, highlighting the hypocrisy at play.

"I saw Andrew Bogut's comments and he is spot on," Buckley added.

"This is a case of if in another universe we'd played great footy in the last four weeks and maximised what we'd had in front of us, we wouldn't be seeing that or it wouldn't be as prevalent and wouldn't be criticized."

"So why does the circumstances change the action? If the kid goes on holiday and doesn't post a photo, does that make it any better or any worse?"

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