Marlion Pickett’s bump is the “perfect example” for a larger fine to be handed out instead of a suspension, according to SEN host Dwayne Russell.
Pickett will miss Richmond’s annual Dreamtime at the ‘G clash against Essendon on Saturday night after failing to overturn his one-match ban for rough conduct at the AFL Tribunal earlier this week.
The Match Review Officer graded Pickett’s bump on Hawthorn’s Dylan Moore as careless conduct with medium impact and high contact. The Tigers unsuccessfully attempted to downgrade the incident from medium to low impact.
Russell says a bigger fine would’ve sufficed for a “football act” that didn’t injure the player.
“I’m in the minority with this view,” he told SEN’s Dwayne’s World.
“But I believe there should be more fines and larger fines for AFL players, rather than keeping suspending players.
“It hit home again this week to me when Marlion Pickett was suspended. I think this is the perfect example – the Marlion Pickett one-game suspension – that a $5000 or a $7000 or a $10,000 fine rather than a one-game suspension would’ve been the better way to go.
“Marlion Pickett’s action wasn’t violent, it was a football act, it didn’t injure the player that he ran into, the player he ran into is playing this week, he just accidentally made contact that caused a whiplash effect, and the player wasn’t injured from it.
“I think there needs to be a sanction for it, 100 per cent there needs to be a sanction for it, but if the fines were bigger, he’d be playing in Dreamtime at the ‘G tomorrow night for Richmond in the jumper he designed.
“Why do we want players suspended all the time? It’s amazing to me when they don’t injure anybody, and they don’t do something that’s outside of being a football act.
“In the NBA and the NFL, and people hate it when I bring up American examples, but fines are huge in those competitions because they want their big-name drawcard players playing.
“It robs the fans, it robs the competition of the big stars.
“This to me would be the perfect example that if we had a fines system that allowed a bigger fine for Marlion Pickett, he might’ve been able to play this Saturday instead of sitting on the sideline for an incident that I think was a football act, wasn’t violent, and didn’t cause an injury.”
The Tigers will be without Pickett, Jack Graham (injured) and Noah Balta (injured) for the Dreamtime match against the Bombers.