"It was a bad call by me" - McStay rows back on his commentary of McLaughlin hit
Kevin McStay has rowed back from his commentary of Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final, when he suggested that John Small's hit on Eoghan McLaughlin was a legitimate one.
"I have to say, from this distance, it looked pretty okay," said the Mayo-man, as he stood in the Croke Park stands alongside Darragh Moloney on co-commentary duty.
In the moment, McStay's take was that, after a 'hospital pass' from Enda Hession, McLaughlin was left wide open and that John Small was within his rights to do what he did.
"It was a hospital pass," continued McStay on Saturday evening. "He walked straight into the tackle. I have to say that it was my first impression that it was done fairly (the tackle) and with the best intention.
"The concern, above all, is with Eoghan McLaughlin, he showed great bravery to go for that ball. It's an awful belt, but he's wide open and it looked fairly square to me. That's just the nature of this game. John Small had to go for it, he had to power into him."
Subsequently, McStay was lynched by the unforgiving and blood-hungry few on social media and with the benefit of time, replays as well as the knowledge that McLoughlin suffered a double-broken jaw from the collision, by Sunday, McStay had changed his tune.
"I did (think it was okay in real-time)," he said on The Sunday Game. "He will miss the All-Ireland, he's under surgery tonight or tomorrow as I understand it.
"I think it is important that I say that of course, now that I have viewed it numerous times with the lads all day, it is an absolute red card. It's important I say that. But in real-time, the angle I was at...Also, the replay did not go up as speedily as normal because it was known it was a bad injury. They choose not to show it, that is important.
Eoghan Mc Laughlin undergoes an operation for a double jaw fracture today.
Hopefully he has a speedy recovery 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/Wyn6cqtNcf
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) August 15, 2021
McStay insisted that the play should have been stopped by Conor Lane and his match-officials, given the serious nature of the injury sustained by the Westport man.
"I was 80, 90 metres away from it with Darragh in the co-comm position. I am not trying to excuse it. It was a red card, a bad call by me. Of course, I wish young McLaughlin all the best. It was just a shocking hit.
"We're stopping play all year for small little injuries. In this one we didn't, clearly we should have..."
Similarly, Oisin McConville was critical of the match officials Conor Lane and Maurice Deegan.
"I think the first person, as far as the officialdom is concerned, was Paul Faloon - he was the fourth official at the time and he was agreeing with what James Horan had to say but it wasn't his call. You know, it was the two boys and they failed to make that call."
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 15, 2021
McStay wasn't the only RTE personality who was criticised for their tv performance, with Joanne Cantwell in the firing line when she responded to Cora Staunton's criticism of Conor Lane by saying that Staunton had her "Mayo hat on."