Cora Staunton has criticised the 'trial by social media' experienced by her AFLW teammate Bríd Stack, after a horror injury the 11-time All-Ireland winner with Cork suffered last month.
Stack suffered a fracture of the C-7 vertebra on her first start for Greater Western Sydney Giants in a practice match.
Staunton joined Adrian and Eoin on OTB AM this morning, and she acknowledged how other players often look up to the way in which Irish players down under react to bad injury setbacks.
"A lot of these major injuries, yeah they're a physical battle surely, but the biggest side of it is it's very tough mentally.
"Bríd has been through a huge emotional rollercoaster since she arrived, obviously starting with the hotel quarantine and then having to hub, and then obviously her injury, the tribunal and the way that went.
"And then she has appointments with different consultants where the news might be good one day, and then two days later it mightn't be as good.
"I suppose that's been a huge struggle for her, but she's been very positive through it all. She's come from a team in Cork that has won so much, and she has imparted that knowledge to the group.
"They think it's a feature of the Irish at this stage, obviously with me and my recovery and now Bríd and her recovery - they think in some ways we're a little bit crazy!
"I think it's good for the girls in our club to see how mentally strong I was and certainly how Bríd is now at this moment in time."
Adelaide Crows midfielder Ebony Marinoff was handed a three game ban for the foul that led to Stack's injury, before having it overturned on appeal.
Staunton says the reaction online wasn't an easy experience for Stack to go through.
"That was really disappointing, for [Ebony] Marinoff to get three games and for it then to be quashed, that was hard for Bríd to take.
"I suppose the social media angle went from Bríd being the victim to Bríd being the villain - that took a lot out of her. The club have been great, and the people supporting her around her.
"The main thing now is she has moved on from it all... She certainly went through probably three or four weeks of a real mental rollercoaster.
Devastated but counting my blessings. Looking forward to rehab once cleared to do so. For now, hup the drugs 🙌 Thanks for all the lovely messages, to all involved with @GWSGIANTS, to the exemplary healthcare staff in Adelaide & to a little man whose hugs make everything better🧡 pic.twitter.com/E5AFQm2mbw
— Bríd Stack (@BridStackie) January 20, 2021
"The most disappointing thing... It was a practice match so there was one camera angle, maybe two. People didn't see.
"And then the trial by social media, it was terrible. As we know social media can have great benefits but it can have huge negative things as well.
"I felt really sorry for her, what people didn't see - I think there were 30 seconds or a minute left in the game, Bríd was one of our best players on the pitch that day, if not the best player - she was having a stormer.
"She was in a number of tackles before that so it wasn't like it was her first tackle in AFL, she had played out 70 or 80 minutes. That was never said in the media, she was involved in probably seven, 10 tackles before that.
"That's the disappointing thing, the thing that went around that she was 34, or she was a rookie and new to the game and didn't know what she was doing - she trained for six or seven weeks previous to that game and had been involved in a load of contact.
"That was really disappointing and I know that really upset her."
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