Craig Bellamy has taken a swipe at the "experts" who continually attack Cameron Smith after the Storm captain was heavily criticised following the win over Newcastle.
Smith's tactics were highlighted by Fox League's NRL360 panel this week with footage showing him shouting towards referee Ben Cummins for a penalty.
Bellamy said Smith, who turned 37 on Thursday, was used to the level of interest in his game but believed the fresh batch of criticism was disrespectful.
"It's been happening for a fair while," Bellamy said.
"I think most guys that have been in the game as players or coaches, whether they like Cameron or don't like Cameron, or whether they like or don't like what he does, I think they've got a lot of respect for him for what he's done in the game.
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"I'm not sure if it spurs him on or not. It's funny the criticism comes from people that haven't really played the game, they haven't coached the game and all of a sudden they're experts.
"I don't know where that leaves them. Cameron's played 400 NRL games, 50 Origins and so many games for Australia.
"But people who have never played the game, coached in the game and never really been involved in a footy club come out and bag him all the time … it doesn't really add up to me.
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"They just try to put him down, I don't understand it and think there should be a lot more respect for the only guy who has played 400 games in our history.
"If they want to make it personal and probably do, that's their business. I can't control that and don't want to control that.
"Other people might want to listen to that but at the end of the day I'm not interested in listening to it."
Bellamy, however, agreed with recent comments made by Paul Gallen and Phil Gould around Smith's future in the NRL but wouldn't be drawn on what it holds.
Gould said on Channel Nine's 100% Footy that Smith needed to give the club an answer soon on whether he'll play into a 20th season to help manage their salary cap, while Gallen added the immortal-in-waiting may need to take a pay cut.
"Both of those things might be true but as I've said before and I might be a bit weak to take this position but I'm not going to tell Cameron Smith when he should be retiring," Bellamy said.
"If he asks for my advice I'll give him my advice but I'm not going to be telling him it's time to retire.
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"That's me showing him the respect for what he's done for our club for the 20 years he's been here and what he's done for the game.
"Cameron will be aware of what he wants to do and how much he wants to do it.
"That will be his decision and that's something for the next few weeks or months – whenever it is."