Gerard Whateley says the AFL is “aghast” by the tribunal’s decision not to suspend Ed and Charlie Curnow for umpire contact.
The Curnows were both able to convince the tribunal contact made with the umpires in last Saturday’s win over Essendon was careless, not intentional, which resulted in a $1,000 fine for each player.
Gold Coast’s Steven May also escaped suspension for umpire contact earlier this week. The confusion comes when you consider Geelong’s Tom Hawkins copped a one-game ban for umpire contact last week, which has left many stumped as to the messaging surrounding making contact with umpires.
Whateley believes the sum of these parts don’t add up, and has reported the AFL is deciding this morning whether or not they appeal the decisions.
“I don’t see how the AFL can sit idly by and just let it stand,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“On the basis of what they drove one week ago. They drove a suspension for the Hawkins action, that was what they believed the precedent needed to be and where the standard needed to be set.
“I think you’ll find they’re aghast by what happened. You appeal it to show how much you disapprove what happened, it doesn’t matter whether you win or not.”
While conceding accidental umpire contact does occur during games of football, AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh told SEN’s Whateley he thinks it is “right” to say players broadly need to stop touching umpires.
Marsh also believes it wouldn’t be inappropriate if the AFL decided to hand down harder punishments for umpire contact.
Listen to Paul Marsh's chat with Gerard Whateley on SEN's Whateley in the player below