Chris Scott says it’s wrong AFL players are losing PR battle over pay


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“Clearly they [players] are losing the PR battle in all of this and really now’s not a time for PR, but the perception of them is not a good one,” Scott told radio station SEN on Thursday.

“In my opinion, especially with the players that I’ve dealt with, it doesn’t reflect the reality of the situation.

“Patrick Dangerfield, I think, is taking his leadership responsibility really seriously.

“The definition of leadership in some ways is taking responsibility for things even when it may not be your position or it may not be your fault.

“I might be betraying his privacy a little bit, but when I speak to him, I sense a resolve to get through this using whatever means are possible – not to try to push an agenda of any particular party.

“But again that’s not the way it’s being portrayed.”

This week Dangerfield hit back at Leigh Matthews’ criticism of the league’s players, saying they are prepared to take longer-term pay cuts but need more information about what the season will look like before agreeing to a deal.

Scott called on the negotiating parties to put any disagreements aside to ensure the sport gets through the crisis “any way we can”.

“I think it’s just the wrong discussion to be having at the moment. The attitude of everyone should be ‘let’s get through this any way we can, and we’ll sort out the finer detail later.

“That might be a simplistic view.”

The 2011 premiership coach said professional sportspeople should “listen to authority” in regards to the right behaviour to uphold during the coronavirus crisis.

“I think it’s also one of those rare situations where it’s going really difficult for the whole community to pull together. Generally crisis is limited to a certain segment of the population, and everyone else can rally around them,” Scott said.

“But this is a situation where everyone seems to be affected at the same time.

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“I am an advocate for free-thinking people and questioning authority at the right time. Professional athletes in particular tend to be quite A-type personalities and disagreeable, which is not a bad thing for competitors.

“It’s just one of the rare situations where I think everybody, no matter what your position, has to fall into line and back the people who really know what they’re talking about. Because it’s easy to have opinions and even criticise things that don’t seem to make any sense in the moment.

“We won’t get through it unless everybody falls into line.

“The time for assessment and analysis I think will come, once we get through this. Now is just the time to fall into line and do as we’re told.”

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