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North Melbourne's hypocrisy is impossible to miss


It was impossible not to notice the hypocrisy at North Melbourne this week after Tarryn Thomas fell foul of the law again.

Last week, it emerged that Thomas had been charged with threatening to distribute an intimate image.

And Thomas was also separately stopped by police when driving with a suspended license during the Kangaroos' Christmas break.

It seems serious, doesn't it?

Not when you read the statement released by the club:

"The club has informed the AFL's Integrity Unit and the AFLPA on both matters, and the club will continue to work with Thomas regarding behavioural expectations."

No suspension from training, no announcement of him being banned for several games this year, and no statement about him working in a community program. No one in a leadership position at the Kangaroos publicly condemned his actions. That was it.

Yesterday new captain Luke McDonald was gushing in his praise for Thomas, saying: "He's a great kid and is as talented as anyone on our list, and we're going to be there for him, no matter what. He's a great kid, and we're going to help him through this journey he's on.

"He's been doing a lot of work with the backline, and gee whiz, he's been super down there. It's a big year for the whole footy club, but if we can get Tarryn out there for 23 games, that's going to make a big difference to our side."

It's not Thomas' first indiscretion, either. Thomas' car was impounded in July when he was checked at a booze bus site and found not to have a valid licence.

Police confirmed a 22-year-old man was found to have been driving on a suspended licence. He was also caught up in a police investigation amid allegations of malicious behaviour to a former partner.

Last season he lashed out at a fan on social media, mocking them for how much money he makes. It's quite the rap sheet.

If only Jason Horne-Francis, the club's most talented player since Wayne Carey, was given the same support as Thomas.

Remember when Horne-Francis was dropped last year for failing to complete a post-game ice bath?

After trading him to Port Adelaide, the club said they couldn't trust his mindset.

"We know everything that has occurred this year, we've got all this information at hand and a lot of people don't and our decision to facilitate the trade for Jason to go home was based on all the information we've got at hand." North's Brady Rawlings said.

I didn't hear or read anything from outspoken North Melbourne forward Cam Zurhaar condemning the behaviour of Thomas either. Remember, Zurhaar was quick to mock Horne-Francis when he left the club and was spotted training in the off-season still in his North Melbourne singlet.

Horne-Francis wasn't under police investigation. He didn't lose his license, he didn't drive without a license, and wasn't arrested or charged with a crime. He missed an ice bath. He was homesick and he played like a frustrated teenager at a poor football club.

I expected a strong public response from president Sonja Hood and new CEO Jennifer Watt, which sends a message that this kind of behaviour and treatment of women won't be tolerated.

Instead, the club is excited to see Thomas, who they tell us is a great kid, play in his new position across half back.

The hypocrisy is impossible to miss.


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