Former Carlton midfielder Brock McLean clips Kane Cornes over AFL Record player weight issue

Brock McLean might want to consider more time in the media following his cheeky clip of outspoken former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes.

Cornes brought to light a new direction by the sport this week when he spoke about the AFL Record’s move to not publish player weights for the first time.

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The Power premiership player has become a human headline since his retirement, often making outlandish or controversial statements in his TV or radio gigs.

Cornes was at it again this week, slamming the move which Record editor Ash Browne said was made by the AFL itself after it decided “in this day and age it is inappropriate for weights to be a public matter, in a publication like the season guide”.

The 40-year-old’s response to that was typically blunt.

“The world has gone so soft that I can’t believe it,” Cornes said on SEN radio.

“You’re a professional athlete. You’re not an influencer on social media.

“No longer in my role as a commentator can I go and say Jake Lever is playing on Charlie Curnow, Curnow has an 8kg advantage – he should take him deep to the goalsquare.

“I don’t know where this is going to lead to. Are they going to ban us from knowing Caleb Daniel is 168cm? He could easily be offended by being one of the shortest AFL players.

“What is going on?”

The decision has drawn a very mixed response, with some slamming it as an embarrassment or a joke, while others felt it was a non-issue.

McLean, 37, has spoken publicly about his eating disorder and mental health issues during his 157-game playing career with Melbourne and the Blues.

He conceded he was struggling to get his head around the publishing change.

“It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for me,” McLean said on 3AW in Melbourne.

“I can understand the reasoning behind it and putting eating disorders and mental health at the forefront of their decision-making.

“I can only talk about my experiences and certainly that was never a problem or an issue for me in terms of my body weight being out there for public record and everyone in the footy world knowing what I weighed.

“My issue was around how I developed this narrative in my head that if I somehow wasn’t at the weight the coaches wanted me to be, then I wouldn’t play.

“There’s more information probably needed to know why the AFL have made this decision, otherwise we’d just be speculating.”

McLean added no one had ever spoken about it being an issue during his career, stating that in itself was part of the problem.

Pick 5 in the 2003 AFL Draft, McLean said the approach towards eating disorders in men still needed to change.

“I think that’s the biggest issue with eating disorders, particularly amongst males and professional sporting athletes, is just – and certainly the case in my experience – the shame attached to that.

“Somehow thinking that you’re weak or less of a man or it was somehow immasculating to have an eating disorder.

“Everything you read and heard and saw was that it only affected women. You never saw a male talk about his experiences with an eating disorder.

“It was never discussed in the group and I’m only assuming here it was the shame attached to things like eating disorder and mental health.

“I think that (needs to be) the starting point, people who have experienced those issues coming out and talking about them publicly so we can start to normalise it a bit and start to make the men out there suffering in silence realise they’re not the only ones going through it.”

For the record, this reporter covered AFL for many years and while it was handy to have player weights at times, for match-ups or to explore the development of a young player, for example, overall it was a rarely used statistic.

McLean felt it was a very minor issue and couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at Cornes at the same time.

“If someone’s weight isn’t published in an AFL Record it’s not the end of the world and I’m sure no one’s going to stop buying Records just because player’s weights haven’t been published in it,” he said with a laugh.

“There’s nothing like a bit of over-reaction in the footy world.

“Until the AFL comes out with the data and the reasoning … we just don’t know and we’re just speculating.

“I did see Kane Cornes comment that he’s not going to be able to tell the difference between defenders and attacking players and their weight difference.

“If that’s the biggest issue that’s going to come out of this, then I think it’s pretty much a non-issue.”

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