Sept. 22, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
GAA President Larry McCarthy has condemned the public criticism of some players within the organization.
McCarthy slammed the “overly harsh, unfair, and downright cowardly” knocking of players Tuesday.
“Words matter, what one says matters, what one puts in the public domain matters,” McCarthy said on the GAA website, addressing “commentators and social media posters.”
His comments come in the wake of a Mayo GAA statement Sunday hitting out at “personal attacks” on James Horan and his players after their latest All-Ireland final defeat.
Cork native McCarthy, who previously served as New York GAA chairperson, did not name the aggressors although it appears he was referring to pundit Joe Brolly, among others, and the criticism of Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea.
Brolly, the controversial Derry All-Ireland winner, called O’Shea “a projected captain who does not lead and never will.” He also referred to Mayo as “time wasters” adding that James Horan made choices during the final “based on political considerations”.
“The criticism emanating from these people has been overly harsh, unfair and in some cases down-right cowardly, McCarthy said.
“It has gone well beyond fair analysis of team performance. Critical evaluation of match performance is fine, and expected, but overly harsh scrutiny of amateur players is unjustifiable. It is inexcusable when it moves beyond the realm of what happens on the field.
The GAA President admitted to being surprised by the level of discord directed at players that some critics claim to support.
“It beggars belief that people who consider themselves supporters of a team would castigate members of that team, the management and the County Committee in a crude and, in some cases, personal fashion.
“Nobody sets out to play badly, nobody sets out to lose an All-Ireland, but it happens. Supporters, who are members of GAA clubs, who attend club games, and who know the commitment and sacrifice the players make, understand this.
“Unfortunately, it is a point that seems to have escaped far too many people in the last week.
“Stop unwarranted critiques of GAA members. Stop this corrosive assault on civility. Perspective is needed when commenting on games and sport in general – not least when players are amateurs.
“None of us know the long-lasting impact of this type of harsh criticism on amateur players and we need to be mindful of the positive mental health of others.”