Kane Cornes has rubbished the AFL after player weights were scrapped from the official 2024 season guide.
The numbers remain on club websites — for now, at least — but they do not appear in the latest print edition of the footy bible.
The AFL has deemed the physical attribute inappropriate for publication, according to the guide’s editor Ash Browne.
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“It’s a new AFL policy to not reveal player weights – I’m just a messenger here, by the way. This was an AFL decision,” Browne told SEN radio.
“They’ve decided in this day and age it is inappropriate for weights to public matter, in a publication like the season guide. They would say that people support that it’s not appropriate to publish weights and that it’s private information now.”
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That reasoning has fallen well short of the mark for Cornes, who has previously taken aim at the AFL for banning skinfold testing for draft prospects from 2021.
The AFL at the time said it wanted to reduce the mental health and body image burden on young people.
Clubs remain permitted to test players after the draft and during their careers, but the league’s latest move to scrap weights from the guide shows it has not finished moving on from the old ways.
AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon and executive football boss Laura Kane, who were both appointed in 2023. Credit: AFL
The decision to scrap weights from the AFL season guide brings the men into line with AFLW, whose version had already omitted the detail.
Still, Cornes remains firmly against the idea that weight is private information and irrelevant to the public.
“The world has gone so soft. I can’t believe it,” he said on radio, adding “I’m shocked” on social media.
“You’re a professional athlete. You’re not an influencer on social media. Any other sport I can look that up. I can tell you (NFL star) Travis Kelce was 113kg. His quarterback Patrick Mahomes weighs 102kg, which is heavy, a little heavier than I thought.
“The heaviest NFL player is Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Marquan McCall. He tips the scales at 172kg. You reckon Marquan calls that his weight is listed on Google for all of us to see?
“Well, nno longer in my role as a commentator can I say ‘Jake Lever is playing on Charlie Curnow, Curnow has an 8kg advantage — he should take him deep to the goal square, try and get him in one-on-one situations and use the 8kg advantage.
“I can’t do that any more because the AFL have said that we are that soft that we can’t include player weights in the bible. I don’t know where this is going to lead to.
“Are they going to ban us from knowing that Caleb Daniel is 168cm? Caleb Daniel could easily be offended by being the shortest, or one of the shortest players, in the game.”
Cornes raised last year’s discussion points surrounding Hawthorn’s No.5 draft pick Nick Watson, who was listed as 170cm and just 68kg.
“He’s 17, 18 years of age and we’re all debating whether he’s too small to be taken in the top 10 of the draft,” Cornes said.
“How would that affect his mental health in his last year of schooling? It didn’t seem to bother him! In fact I’ve spoken to him about it, he loves it.
“What is going on?”
Nick Watson was a top draft pick despite being one of the smallest players in the pool. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
The outspoken Cornes was not alone in disagreeing with the change.
“This is a complete embarrassment. Why? What’s the reason????” West Coast premiership player Will Schofield said.
He even had no problem offering up his current weight to a curious fan.
“108kg as of yesterday morning. Career-worst shape. That’s ok though,” he said.
Schofield was listed in the AFL season guide as 92kg and, despite retiring after the 2020 season, remained fit enough to return to the field with the Eagles’ WAFL side last year.
AFLW star Darcy Vescio was among the most public supporters of scrapping skinfold tests for draftees.
“I don’t understand the backlash over clubs no longer doing skinfolds before players are drafted,” the Carlton veteran wrote in 2021.
“If we’re serious about mental health and well-being of players (and society) then why slam a change that promotes that?
“The impact of body image issues and fat shaming is deep.”