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It's time for AFL to stamp out the stomp

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Minson sidesteps suspension

Bulldog Will Minson avoided a suspension for stomping on Swan Kieren Jack at Sunday's game at the AFL tribunal.

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THE farcical scenario on Monday in which Will Minson and his five-year good record escaped with a one-match suspension for stomping became frankly disturbing last night when the Bulldogs ruckman was cleared to play this weekend.

However eloquent his evidence - and it must have been well received - anyone who watched the giant ruckman stamping his feet on the leg of grounded Swan Kieren Jack would at least question Minson's well-argued claim his act was accidental. Frankly, it seems closer to unbelievable but even if you accept Minson's word as the tribunal did last night, then the unescapable conclusion is that the penalty for stomping of any kind, deliberate or otherwise, is woefully inadequate. Simply, if everything that has taken place under the game's judicial system since Minson attacked Jack at Etihad Stadium on Sunday can be deemed within the rules, then the rules are wrong.

Ruckman ruckus ... Bulldog Will Minson.

Ruckman ruckus ... Bulldog Will Minson. Photo: Paul Rovere

And our understanding is that the Minson incident could prove one stomp too many in terms of the AFL and its penalty-points system. That a player can stand over a prone opponent he has forced to the ground and attack him so brutally and not receive more than a two-match ban should be of grave concern to the game's governing body.

Steven Baker admitted with no shame on Fox Footy on Monday night that he used to sharpen his stops before games. Surely there is a point where sport ends and violence begins? And this is not just about the look or image of Australian rules.

Brett Ratten summed up how damaging and multi-layered the effect of these decisions can be when Josh Hunt was fined the paltry amount of $1350 when he stood on Eddie Betts' hand back in round 11.

''The decisions that are made, they go right down to grassroots footy,'' Ratten said. ''Are these the things that we want to see when we go and watch our kids play footy?'' Match Review Panel chairman Mark Fraser argued that Hunt was standing, not stomping but that's not how it looked.

At the end of last season, Carlton's Aaron Joseph was fined $900 for doing something similar to Stephen Milne. So that's three times in less than a season where a stomping action has not resulted in a suspension. Minson would have received one match for his horrible act but was only reprimanded because of his clean sheet - at least in the eyes of the MRP and the tribunal.

AFL football boss Adrian Anderson was careful not to question the softening of the penalty last night delivered by tribunal trio Wayne Schimmelbusch, Wayne Henwood and Stewart Loewe. But he conceded that two incidents in one season was ''unusual''.

''We acknowledge it's not a good look for the game,'' said Anderson last night, ''and when we review the tribunal as we do at the end of every season we'll look at the penalty points and whether they're adequate in these circumstances.''

It is beside the point, although extremely fortunate, that Jack was not seriously injured.

In this case it also seems irrelevant to consider the modern football penalty system which rewards good behaviour.

Two matches was simply not enough for deliberate stomping and one match a pathetic punishment for reckless stomping.

In Minson's case, he had to have his punishment reduced due to his good record. Sometimes it seems far more sensible to judge a man for what he has done on the day.

And if Minson went home relieved last night then he should be even more disappointed in himself.


  • I couldnt agree more a 4 week sentence would have been more appropriate for stomping, again the tribunal/justice system has let the AFL down, surely its time to go back to the tribunal sitting every week . This is one area the AFL needs to review and repair it is too inconsistent and often i am left scrarching my head. Stomping, regardless of the body part being stomped is not a good look for the stomper and in this case the AFL or the tribunal, from memory the player looks at the player on the ground and stands on his leg, time the AFL woke up before an injured player takes them to court and sues them

    Date and time
    August 22, 2012, 5:02AM
    • Comparing this to Ziebell's 4 weeks for....uh...playing football...makes this incident even more ridiculous.

      Seriously, are they judging players on their actions or the consequences? Will the suspend a player because they kicked a ball to another player, who then got hit in the face by it?

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 8:56AM
    • Agreed! Four weeks would be much more appropriate, especially when you consider his "good record" includes a club suspension for a week after he abused Danyle Pearce's mother earlier this season as well as his previous slur at Kane Cornes' sick son in 2008. The AFL needs to have a good hard look at itself and work out where its heading, because at the moment it is atrocious.

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 9:20AM
    • when does the AFL world Cup start?? Ok, ok forget that.. Baby steps ..When do the All Australian team play? You can't actually have a team that does not play anybody. Its hilarious.. Nothing like signing your national anthem for your country, something AFL will NEVER have. And please do not bring up that International Rules crap..

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 9:49AM
    • Nick, am an afl fan but have to agree the afl all Australian team is so ridiculous, you have no one to play, you never will !

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 10:29AM
    • In my view Stomping is the wrong word. My interpretation of the vision I saw of the Minson/Jack incident was that Minson was standing in a stable stance and then made the conscious decision to stand on Jack's leg rather than step over, rather like stepping on rather than over a fallen tree branch on a forest walking track. This behaviour is inexcusable, and I agree has no place in our AFL game. 2-4 weeks!

      Richmond VIC
      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 10:51AM
    • What is the comment from NickRivers doing on here??

      btw - AFL does have national anthems for international AFL (Aust Football). And no - not the IR stuff.
      Last years 4th installment of the international cup. Okay - Aust don't play, but we host. And seeing the NZ Haka, the Tongan Sipi Tau, etc. The Danes bettled out their anthem up at Blacktown on day 1. One of the best games of footy I watched last year was Japan v Sweden.
      International competition doesn't need to be multi million dollar professional competition to be worthy - - and, heck, one thing the Olympics reminds us is that club level AFL matches can put the intensity of Olympic soccer to shame. International isn't everything - heck, NSW v Vic in the cricket would be better than Banga's v Zimbo's test match.

      Michael C
      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 11:14AM
    • Good on you Nickrivers. Do you feel better? This article is about stomping in the AFL. It doesn't mention World Cups or All Australian anywhere. It's always amusing reading posts of jealous haters who can't stand the fact that Aussies rules is the biggest sport in Australia. While you can sing the national anthem for soccer and rugby they just aren't the spectacle that Aussie rules is. I know it's tough to swallow but you are an example of someone who should stay silent rather than remove all doubt.........

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 11:19AM
    • @ nick rivers your comments have nothing to do with this article. why would you even bother to make an inane remark like that?

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 11:23AM
    • As Minson was putting his foot down, Jacks leg followed under it. Minson was moving his leg away from Jack.. Sure it was careless, however a reprimand was all that was needed. If Jack didnt move Minson would have stepped over him. You should all go play netball.

      Date and time
      August 22, 2012, 11:54AM

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