Former AFL coach Nathan Buckley has provoked outrage with a bizarre post questioning the contagiousness of the Delta coronavirus strain.
The recently-resigned Collingwood coach claimed the highly-infectious strain wasn’t as contagious as it was made out to be in a tweet on Sunday.
The state recorded 16 new cases on Sunday, prompting Buckley to weigh into the Covid debate in his first Twitter post since leaving Collingwood in June.
Former Collingwood Nathan Buckley (pictured recently with girlfriend Alex Pike) copped a barrage of online backlash on Sunday
Buckley broke a six week silence on Twitter with his controversial tweet about the Delta strain
He tweeted: ‘53,283 tests yesterday in Victoria, presumably most of those from people exposed to people and places with confirmed positives… 16 new positives.
‘So, exactly how contagious is this thing again? My logical brain is failing to comprehend.’
Seconds later, Buckley was hit with furious backlash with his tweet described as ‘irresponsible and disappointing’.
‘Trivialising this is a horrendously irresponsible take by you. Look at Brazil, India and Indonesia. So disappointing’ one commented.
Buckley soon came under fire from health experts.
‘Airborne spread. It spreads faster than a rumour in a locker room, Nathan, and does a similar amount of damage when you’re trying to keep the teamwork happening,’ emergency physician and former Australian Medical Association vice president Stephen Parnis commented.
Victorians are in their fifth lockdown since the pandemic after the latest outbreak in NSW crossed the border. Pictured are Melburnians on Sunday
Others suggested Buckley keep his comments to himself.
‘Unless you can prove your credentials as an epidemiologist, please keep this kind of misinformation to yourself,’ one wrote.
Another added: ‘Please spend one shift working on a covid centre or ward before making that comment. It is real, and healthy people are dying.’
One critic took a cheeky swipe at Buckley’s failure to win a premiership as player or coach during his 29 years at Collingwood.
‘Think of lockdown like winning a premiership, champ. You have to work really hard as a team, and even then, you might not win one/catch Covid, as you know very well from personal experience,’ one woman quipped.
Buckley’s girlfriend Melbourne cosmetic nurse Alex Pike leapt to his defence.
‘End lockdown,’ she captioned Buckey’s tweet on her Instagram Stories.
Nathan Buckley later admitted that he agreed with ‘sharp, hard lockdowns’. Pictured are Melburnians on Sunday on day three of lockdown
Alex Pike leapt to the defence of her boyfriend Nathan Buckley by sharing his tweet
Buckley took the outrage on notice and backtracked on his comments when he admitted he supported the current lockdown
‘Totally agree on these short sharp hard lockdowns,’ he wrote.
‘They seem to be quite effective. I wonder what the long term solution is though.’
He also had a parting message to his critics.
‘A raft of assumptions and inferences being returned from one observation… that is your prerogative,’ Buckley later tweeted.
Nathan Buckley is now dating Alex Pike (pictured) following his split from wife Tania in 2020
‘With some great informed logical perspectives in there as well. Clearly a highly discussed topic with lots of associated emotional triggering.’
‘Be kind to each other.’
Some fans did come to Buckley’s defence.
‘To be fair, he’s only asking a question. If half the people on here could give an educated response rather than just hating we might get to a point where we’re not locking down every time we get a case,’ one man commented.
Nathan Buckley (pictured with his sons at his last Collingwood game as coach) ended the heated debate by urging everyone to be kind to one another
Coronavirus Australia: Dumped AFL coach Nathan Buckley roasted over comments about Delta strain