Adelaide forward Taylor Walker was the subject of some bizarre criticism over the weekend after Fox Sports cameras caught him having a beer in the stands while watching a curtain raiser match at AAMI Stadium. The overreaction by many within the footy community was embarrassing.
Yes, Walker was named as an emergency for the Crows’ match with Collingwood. But he was a non-travelling emergency. An emergency on paper only.
Those that bothered to do some research would know he had already played his game for the weekend, running out for SANFL club Norwood a night earlier.
He was at the game with mates, having a solitary beer – not getting hammered – and it was all during daylight hours with no antisocial behaviour to speak of.
Yet the Fox commentators Gerard Healy and Tony Shaw were scathing, saying it was unprofessional and “silly”. Yet Herald Sun journo Mark Stevens claimed this was evidence he’s already off to GWS. Yet Geelong gun Jimmy Bartel, one of the game’s more laidback identities, questioned Walker’s decision.
Yet Garry Lyon said on Footy Classified it was “not a good look”. Yet Grant Thomas said it was “absolutely silly”.
It’s all been quite bewildering, to be honest.
An AFL player should be allowed to have a solitary beer with mates the day after a game. I’m not even going to qualify that by saying it was regrettable or not a good look.
Too many this weekend have been trying to make an issue out of nothing. In reality, all Walker did was have that one beer with mates the day after a game. Let’s not try and dress it up as anything more.
After all, if there was anything Taylor Walker did over the weekend that could be described as silly or regrettable, the media could do worse than look at footage of an incident from his SANFL game on Friday night.
For someone supposed to be fighting to regain his spot in the seniors, that is what I would term “not a good look”.