Footy Show star Kane Cornes has fat-shamed Essendon forward Jake Stringer after he was spotted exposing his stomach to the cameras on Saturday night.
Cornes joined the chorus of footy commentators to publicly criticise Stringer’s rig this season when he described the former Bulldogs star’s physique as “out of shape”.
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Stringer was filmed by TV cameras during Essendon’s thumping at the hands of Port Adelaide on Saturday night with his guernsey pulled up over his head following a melee wrestle.
Cornes said the way Stringer presented was “not good enough”.
“I’ll get smashed for this and the PC brigade will come after me, but if you’re a full time professional athlete, you don’t present yourself like that,” he told The Sunday Footy Show.
“To steal (Port Adelaide coach) Ken Hinkley’s line, you get what you deserve in footy. That’s why he had five disposals yesterday. He is not fit enough.
“When you don’t perform and you present like that, out of shape, you run the risk of being criticised by it. He needs to look at what (Christian) Petracca has done. What Max Gawn has done in the past, the way Travis Boak manages his body, if he wants to get the most out of that talent. Because that display of physical fitness is not good enough.
“Let’s have a look at the votes before the Twitter phone runs off the hook with people complaining about fat shaming and all those sorts of things.”
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd agreed with Cornes, while Geelong great Billy Brownless said it was “harsh”.
“He does have to be fitter though,” Cornes said.
“For AFL football, he needs to be better than that.
“That’s what he does, he is a full time athlete.”
Stringer’s body was also attacked by Channel 7 stars Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor earlier in the season.
McAvaney openly suggested Stringer had lost conditioning in recent months because of the impact of coronavirus restrictions on his training programs.
McAvaney and Taylor even joked about Stringer’s big “backside” during Essendon’s win over Collingwood in July.
“He looks big to me,” McAvaney said.
“He doesn’t look as fit as I’ve seen him look. He’s big through the backside, he’s big through the legs. And the tummy as well. And yet, he’s kicked two goals.
“He’s done everything right, but he looks big doesn’t he.”
Taylor responded by suggesting Stringer may have struggled to keep up his conditioning when forced to train away from teammates over the past few months.
“I reckon he’s one of the guys that needs to be with the group, under the pressure of training with the group, I reckon, to get the absolute best out of his body,” Taylor said.
“I personally believe he needs to train with the group. Now with the situation we’ve had over the last few months, it’s been hard for him to find quality time with the group. I know other players have done it, but he needs a little bit more coaching than others.”
Fellow Seven commentator Wayne Carey then said: “Are you saying he doesn’t have a six pack?”
A defiant Taylor refused to take a back step.
“He definitely doesn’t have a six pack going at the moment,” Taylor said.