AFL: Don’t expect to hear any pre and post-match interviews with Richmond players if you’re listening to the Richmond-Brisbane clash on Triple M on Saturday.
Receiving the backing of the AFL yesterday, the Tigers have launched a boycott of the station following the controversial conversation between commentators Eddie McGuire, James Brayshaw and Danny Frawley.
Speaking before the Big Freeze event prior to the Queen’s Birthday clash at the MCG between Melbourne and Collingwood, McGuire – who’s also the Magpies president – had joked about drowning veteran football journalist Caroline Wilson.
The comments were met with widespread condemnation, with Richmond – which has the league’s only female president, Peggy O’Neal – taking the strongest stance.
AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan yesterday endorsed the move.
“Part of it is pretty liberating to see people making stands across our industry and young, progressive voices coming out through the playing group and different voices,” he said.
“That’s the power of our game. The decision we made is up for debate and people are debating it. But our game has been really clear about where it stands and why it thinks it’s unacceptable.”
Though they have all apologised, no punishment has befallen McGuire, North Melbourne president Brayshaw or All-Australian selector Frawley, though Triple M said it would donate its on-field digital signage space from this weekend’s games to anti-violence against women charity White Ribbon.
McLachlan said there had been a “distinct” difference between fining North Melbourne and its coach Brad Scott over comments he made in relation to umpires last Friday night and McGuire. Scott was fined $30,000 and the Kangaroos $50,000.
“There are specific rules around commenting on umpires and others. With respect to Eddie and his issues, which are a different issue, there are three things I’d say,” McLachlan said.
“It is questionable whether we have the ability to make a fine or decisions around Eddie. That’s debatable, and we’re not his employer in this situation. But it was still clear advice to me, and my view, that an apology was appropriate in this circumstance.
“Part of that advice was that a fine is not the panacea here. It doesn’t just put a bow around it and make it better. The conversation we wanted to have (is) shining a light around this, and calling out the fact it was clearly unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, North Melbourne, having lost three of its past four games, travels to play an in-form Adelaide tomorrow night at the Adelaide Oval after a six-day break, while the Crows enjoyed last weekend off.