An AFL player chosen in the draft by the Sydney Swans has had an awkward start to his career at the club after images circulated showing he had liked Facebook pages describing club great Adam Goodes as a flog and a wanker.
Tyrone Leonardis, a defender with the Melbourne club Northern Knights, was taken at pick 51 by the Swans in Tuesday’s national draft.
Screenshots soon began to circulate on social media purporting to show the 18-year-old’s Facebook likes, including one page titled “Adam Goodes for flog of the year” and another reading “Adam Goode’s [sic] for wanker of the year”.
Goodes, a former Australian of the year and two-time winner of the Brownlow Medal for the AFL’s overall best player, took leave from the game in July after persistent jeering by opposition fans.
The heckling became a national issue in May when Goodes responded to boos by charging at Carlton Blues fans with an Indigenous war dance. He retired at the end of the Swans’ season in September.
The Swans’ general manager of football, Tom Harley, told Melbourne’s Herald Sun the club had been made aware of the recruit’s Facebook activity.
“We have spoken to Ty and he is really disappointed,” Harley said.
“They were groups he joined in February and he is really apologetic. It is a really good reminder of the pitfalls of social media. It is not ideal but he is unbelievably apologetic.
“He is feeling really bad and it is a conversation we will pick up with him when he arrives.
“It is a really tangible example of the dangers of social media.”