The Port Adelaide-midfielder, on an end-of-season-trip with ten teammates, was away from his group as he fell down from a building that wasn’t his hotel, news.com.au writes.
Keith Thomas, Port Adelaide’s CEO, confirmed the death of McCarthy who just finished his first season with the club, playing 21 games and kicking six goals.
Thomas said: “It’s devastating news.
We’ve endured a tough year on the field, we were in the process of looking forward to next year and this is a major, major setback emotionally.”
He said it was unsure whether the tragedy was caused by alcohol but that the club had been in touch with Victoria Police.
A spokesperson for the Flamingo Hotel confirmed that they had found a man unresponsive around 5.40am on Sunday morning.
He is said to have fallen from a balcony but Australian Channel 9’s US correspondent Robert Penfold tweeted: “Standing at the palm tree in Las Vegas AFL player John McCarthy apparently fell from and died. Still mystified as to how it could happen.”
Other AFL players are now showing their sympathies and re-schedule their planned Las Vegas trips.
About 20 footballers on their way to Vegas are now going elsewhere to enjoy their summer holidays.
Ian Robson, Essendon FC’s CEO told news.com.au: ”We spoke to the AFL and AFLPA and we feel it would be disrespectful for the players to go.
“There’s a lot of practical reasons why, one is respect.”
McCarthy’s old team Collingwood grieved his death.
Magpies President Eddie McGuire, who has described McCarthy as a “much-loved and wonderful young man”, told afl.com.au: “It’s the most devastating of news for football in general and for the Port Adelaide and Collingwood Football Clubs.”
Collingwood’s captain Nick Maxwell said: “J-Mac was a great mate to all of us. He was a gutsy teammate and a wonderful person.”
McCarty’s parents were informed this morning and his sister, who lives in the US, is travelling there to find out what exactly happened.
The largest of many ‘RIP John McCarthy’ pages on Facebook has over 54,000 likes and counting.
Image via Getty.