Sports

Taylor Walker, Luke Brown in hot water over mask photo on flight, COVID-19 protocols, Adelaide Crows welcome investigation

By George Vlotis and Chris De Silva

Former Adelaide captain Taylor Walker and defender Luke Brown have been revealed as two of the Crows players to have not appropriately worn masks on a return flight from Sydney.

A photo obtained by Nine News showed both Brown and Walker with their masks down as Walker chatted to coach Matthew Nicks on the plane. Their tray tables being lifted indicates that no food or drink was being consumed at the time.

The release of the image comes after the Crows have asked the AFL to investigate claims that several of their players and staff were not appropriately wearing masks on their flight back home after facing Richmond in Sydney last weekend.

The controversy surrounding the masks comes at an awful time for the AFL, with the league only recently obtaining an exemption to allow Collingwood to enter South Australia to face the Crows in Round 12.

In a statement released today, the club said they had welcomed an investigation by the AFL.

“The Adelaide Football Club has asked the AFL to investigate claims that several players and staff were not appropriately wearing masks on a return flight from Sydney last Sunday,” the statement read.

“The Club also acknowledges the government requirement for people to wear masks in airports and on all domestic commercial flights to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

“Our coaches, players and staff understand it is a privilege to be playing football during these times, as well as the need to adhere to protocols and guidance from health authorities.

“The Club is fully cooperating with the League and awaits the findings of the investigation.”

It remains to be seen whether either Walker or Brown will be sanctioned by either the AFL or the club, with SA Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier declaring that the incident was “a matter for the AFL” on Friday.

The photo of Walker and Brown comes after a woman on board the Crows’ flight back to Adelaide from Sydney claimed that a number of players blatantly disregarded the COVID-19 mask protocols.

“The stewards told all the people, the Crows team that just got on, that they need to put their masks on, and then, as soon as they were told they took them off,” she told Triple M.

“They totally disregarded everything and they were actually walking around the plane.”

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