Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas apologises after branding Max Gawn a SOOK after the Demons ruckman stayed in the sheds with a knee injury in loss to the Lions
Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas has apologised for calling Melbourne captain Max Gawn ‘a sook’ in the aftermath of the Demons’ loss to Brisbane on Friday night.
The 31-year-old limped off the field at the Gabba just minutes into the first half of Melbourne’s 11-point defeat after a seemingly innocuous collision with teammate Jack Viney.
Gawn looked visibly in pain as he hobbled off the park to be assessed in the dressing room, where he sat on the floor dejected with an ice pack strapped to his knee.
Thomas suggested the TV footage of the Demons captain looking disconsolate sent the wrong message to his teammates.
‘Possibly wouldn’t have changed much but Gawn sooking downstairs instead of icing on bench and connecting with team he is captain of didn’t help,’ he tweeted.
Former Saints boss Grant Thomas (here in 2004) has apologised for calling Max Gawn a ‘sook’
Gawn hobbled off the field early in the first quarter of Melbourne’s 11-point loss to the Lions at the Gabba on Friday night and looked visibly dejected in the dressing room
Thomas copped backlash on social media for his comments and eventually apologised.
‘Understand some are offended with the word “sooking”, it was a bad choice of words,’ he posted.
‘Looking downtrodden and sad probably better but my summary of that is sooking which sounds a tad harsh. Apologies to those few.’
With Gawn ruled out and replaced by Jake Melksham, Melbourne’s new recruit Brodie Grundy had to shoulder the lion’s share of the ruck work against Oscar McInerney and Darcy Fort.
The Lions led by 20 points at half-time and pulled away in the third period, leading by 38 at the last interval before the Demons mounted a late rally in the fourth quarter after the game was halted as the floodlights at the Gabba failed.
Demons coach Simon Goodwin admitted the injury to Gawn was a major blow for his side, but refused to use it as an excuse for their loss against the Lions.
‘Clearly there’s an emotional toll to your team when you lose your skipper early in the game,’ he said in his post-match press conference.
‘You’ve got to give Brisbane some credit.
Thomas claimed Gawn sent out the wrong message by looking dejected while having an ice pack strapped to his knee as he remained in the dressing room
The former Saints boss copped backlash on social media and eventually apologised
The star ruckman eventually re-emerged to sit on the bench alongside his teammates
‘I thought they were cleaner in and around stoppages. I thought their pressure was good in and around clearances, and it is a different type of ground especially at centre bounce
‘They beat us hands down at centre bounce and it put us under a lot of pressure. They‘re a good side. […] They’ve got a talented list, a mature list that plays a contested brand of footy.’
Meanwhile, Melbourne have revealed Gawn has avoided a dreaded ACL rupture with scans confirming the star ruckman suffered a medial ligament strain in his left knee.
Gawn missed six weeks in the 2020 season with the same injury and is expected to be out for around two months.
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