AFL greats Matthew Lloyd and Kane Cornes have called for Collingwood to strip Steele Sidebottom of the vice-captaincy in the wake of his alcohol-fuelled COVID-19 breach.
Sidebottom was handed a four-match ban by the AFL after a series of events which saw him driven home by Victoria Police after being found disoriented on a street at 7.30am last Sunday.
The 29-year-old’s absence was heavily felt by his side, who dropped their second consecutive match on Friday night, succumbing to Essendon by 15 points.
In addition to stripping Sidebottom of his leadership role, Lloyd said that he would impose his own suspension on Sidebottom, on top of the AFL’s four-match ban.
“How strong would they have been behind the scenes with Steele Sidebottom?” he asked on the AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“🤔. As good as he’s been, it’s a massive one-off that he’s done.
“I would have dropped him for two games anyway, COVID or no COVID breach, when you cannot remember what happened the day before and you end up at 7.30am on a street not knowing what you’re doing.”
Lloyd’s call was backed up by Cornes, who said that Sidebottom would be in a tough position when asked to discipline teammates in the future.
“I would (strip him of the vice-captaincy), I’d certainly question it,” Cornes said when asked if he would echo Lloyd’s hard stance on Sidebottom.
“The hard part is, when you’re in the leadership group, you’ve got to sit down and discipline other players who have had indiscretions.”