He may argue everyone present understood the context, but it had the potential to become a much more serious issue for him. The reflex response for most seeing that act on video was that it was wrong and disrespectful. Women are justifiably sick of that sort of behaviour from too many men when they are out.
Anyone asking De Goey not to engage in that behaviour is not exactly expecting him to make a sacrifice akin to dying on the cross. Nor is it a huge expectation to ask him to be humble enough to learn how to have a good time in what is now a digital existence.
Didn’t he learn anything from the New York experience? You can have fun without having to show the bird or make sexually explicit poses to an acquaintance holding a camera with an Instagram account.
That might be hard for him to get his head around and even difficult to accept – as many before De Goey have shown – but it is the price that comes with being a public figure with a high income that provides privileges and responsibility.
The fact he has railed – again – against that expectation doesn’t make De Goey a bad person, just someone who is taking time to learn some hard lessons that even what he may consider a minor storm in a teacup can be ferocious nonetheless. The Pies are waiting to hear the full story.
He might hate the intrusion but it’s a reality that the media – and not just social media – is an imperfect yet unstoppable beast, and he would be better served learning to deal with it rather than blaming it for limiting his choices which remain wide and varied.
There’s another important issue to consider here, and one that Melbourne have been going through in the last week – no football club needs such distractions, particularly Collingwood as it propelled forward with such a positive vibe under McRae and new president Jeff Browne.
There is no doubt that De Goey has been influential in Collingwood’s recent run of success; he can just as easily interrupt the club’s run to the finals.
Then there is another choice that De Goey faces, a broader choice about becoming the best footballer he can be, something which remains a tantalising prospect eight seasons after his debut.
The club and his management’s thinking around his next contract seemed to be progressing well, and quietly without much external talk with the number of years on offer the main discussion point.
Everyone knows he can play, everyone also knows he can play up. The equation was as simple for Collingwood as it has been in football for time immemorial when a player verges on becoming too hot to handle – were the list of hassles worth his on-field return?
Now he’s added another incident to the list, the timing likely to bring all sorts of voices such as board members including Christine Holgate into the contract discussion.
That equation will affect what salary the Magpies and other clubs might offer.
For Collingwood, those are pretty simple questions because although the Magpies will be better next year with De Goey, someone will replace him if their offer doesn’t satisfy him enough to stay.
De Goey might want the questions for himself to be as simple but they rarely are for young men attempting to set themselves up for a fulfilling life, particularly those under a constant spotlight.
Do I need to modify my behaviour? What do I need to do to show the best version of myself on and off the field? What is within my control? Why am I being judged and how should I handle that? What impact has this had on other people at the club? Whom do I talk to for honest, direct, experienced feedback about where I am at? What parts of the narrative around me are uneducated, biased and ill-informed and what is relevant and worthy of contemplation?
Scott Pendlebury, McRae, football manager Graham Wright and former player and board member Paul Licuria would be the people I’d be listening to. If he can commit to that, a penalty is unlikely.
Those people know him best, the good and the parts that need improving.
De Goey has a future in football. Only he can decide what it looks like.
St Kilda have the wobbles
Jack Steele’s return from a shoulder injury can’t come quickly enough for the Saints, who are hanging on to their spot in the eight by a thread after being upset by Essendon on Friday night.
The Saints have performed above external expectations in 2022, showing the resilience they promised in the pre-season to demonstrate Brett Ratten deserved more time in the hot seat. But the run of opponents they face in the next month could make their two-match losing streak longer.
They require resilience to win at least two of the next four against Sydney, Carlton, Fremantle, and the Bulldogs.
The fight starts in earnest this Thursday night when top plays second and continues through the round, with all top eight teams facing another.
Tom Hawkins became the 26th player to kick 700 AFL goals when he kicked the second of his three goals against the Eagles on Saturday. Of course, his poster in the 2009 grand final is among the tally, so it was handy for him to reach 701 goals before leaving Optus Stadium.
He is a brilliant field kick, dominates boundary throw-ins in the forward 50 and his accuracy has improved. He has kicked no fewer than 46 goals a season in the past 10 years and has been on the winning team 71 per cent of the time. Not bad for pick 41 – under previous father-son selection rules – in the 2006 national draft.
Horror movies right there on my TV
Seeing young Bulldog Cody Weightman’s dislocated elbow and Gold Coast defender Wil Powell’s leg point at right angles to his knee was a reminder of the courage it takes to play football at any level, let alone the top.
Both made for uncomfortable viewing with Weightman making an incredible return to play out the game with a strapped elbow.
This is a tough game and, occasionally, it takes such unfortunate injuries to remind us how tough.
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