The AFL fails the game

It’s by no means a shock when the AFL is pissweak and selective about on-field indiscretions.

There isn’t any consistency, though it appears there ought to be.

In as we speak’s panorama, the top’s sacrosanct. It have to be protected in any respect prices. That’s why bumps are successfully outlawed. That’s why the sling sort out’s thought-about so harmful. However a strike to the again of the top? Hmm, effectively, that’s not fairly as dangerous.

In direction of the top of the third quarter in Saturday’s Richmond-Collingwood conflict, Tiger defender Rhyan Mansell fell into the again of Magpie ahead Jack Ginnivan. Mansell drove a forearm into the again of Ginnivan’s head – that first blow would possibly’ve been unintentional, a results of momentum.

However then Mansell did it once more deliberately.

And the response to it?

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick didn’t assume something of it. “Finish of the day, I didn‘t notice it compared to any other player,” he said in his post-game press conference. “But we want our small backs to be physical and like most other backs in the AFL, they’d be doing precisely the identical.”

Properly, he’s making an attempt to prejudice the context to ensure that everyone knows that, hey, it’s powerful on the market, and typically issues occur. Um, okay.

“He’ll cop a fine or a week for that – probably a fine because it was low impact,” commentator Jason Dunstall mentioned in the course of the sport.

Low influence?

This appears to be the media’s response. Definitely, no one’s highlighted it and talked about it with the gravity that it deserves.

(Photograph by Michael Willson/AFL Pictures by way of Getty Pictures)

Let’s take a step again right here: what would my punishment be if I walked right into a bar, had a heated verbal alternate with someone, and after they weren’t wanting determined to strike them behind the top? Might I’m going to court docket and argue, “Hey, it’s low impact”?

Years in the past, one of these assault was branded a “king hit”. Then there was a rightly a push to de-glamorise it. “King hit” sounded noble. It had a majesty about it. Nope – it needed to be branded for what it was. It then turned the “coward’s punch”, which was rather more becoming. Tragically, there are a litany of examples of people that’ve been struck this manner, after which suffered critical accidents or died later.

No one must be discovering this defensible.

I’m not sure why the AFL doesn’t categorise these incidents because the worst of the worst.

The manner I break it down is there are three sorts of indiscretions in Australian Guidelines.

1. Acts the AFL are attempting to police out of the sport, such because the bump (to the top) and the sling sort out
2. Acts which are a results of incidental contact, e.g. a late spoil that collects an opponent within the face
3. Acts off the ball, or acts of pure thuggery, e.g. a strike.

The final ought to at all times be thought-about worse. They’re not soccer decisions which are mistimed (e.g. a late spoil) or which have gone unsuitable (a bump that’s collected the face of an opponent).

It’s a aware selection {that a} participant makes in that second to harm an opponent. There’s no rationale or excuse for it. They’re the one act you could parallel with wilful and violent behaviour anyplace. These choices haven’t any place in life, not to mention soccer.

Some will counter that Jack Ginnivan obtained beneath Mansell’s pores and skin, or that Ginnivan’s so annoying it’s unsurprising he obtained some form of comeuppance. Defences akin to this are sufferer blaming. If Hardwick can argue it’s the job of his defenders to be bodily, then certainly Ginnivan could be annoying and take a look at put them off the sport.

If the AFL really is intent on cleansing up the sport, acts like this could not solely be punished, they need to be punished so closely that it turns into a right away deterrent. No participant in any league ought to ever assume for an on the spot that that is okay.

Rhyan Mansell is perhaps a younger participant nonetheless discovering his manner within the sport, however that’s all of the extra cause that is the place the road must be drawn.

The AFL mustn’t solely be taking a troublesome stance, they need to be sending a message to footballers in all places that this behaviour is unacceptable.

Uh-uh. One week. That’s the penalty.

I suppose the AFL will simply wait till someone does critically get harm earlier than they take actual motion.

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