THE death threat aimed at Kurt Tippett is being taken seriously - despite the perpetrator saying it was a joke - with the matter being referred to the police.
As the impact of free agency continues to bite on clubs and supporters, the AFL Players Association says any threats made to players via social media would not be tolerated.
Tippett walked out on the Crows on Tuesday, telling them he wanted to be traded as several clubs circle the talented forward.
Tippett's manager Peter Blucher said the threats made on Twitter on Thursday morning were ''despicable and not remotely funny''. ''How would you feel if it was your son?'' Blucher told The Age.
''This person should be made an example of so this sort of stuff doesn't happen again.''
The tweet, which the person later tweeted was a reworked version of a quote from the film Taken, said: "If you dont go to gold coast i will look for you. I will find you. And i will kill you.''
Tippett told the Crows that he would seek a trade with a rival club in this month's trade period. The Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast, Carlton and Sydney have all expressed interest in the 25-year-old forward.
In the aftermath of his announcement - made to fellow players via SMS - Twitter received a barrage of feedback from fans via social media.
AFLPA boss Matt Finnis says any comment of this nature crossed the line.
''Regardless of the intent of, or the motive of the person that is posting these kinds of tweets, we shouldn't accept, we shouldn't tolerate it,'' Finnis told 3AW.
"Whether or not there is a fear that the person is going to follow through on it, I don't think any of us should condone it.
''We certainly will treat it very seriously and we will refer to the police any social media engagement that we feel goes across the line."
Meanwhile, if Brisbane fails in its bid to lure Tippett, the Lions have set their sights on Hawthorn wingman Clinton Young. Young, 26, is one of three Hawks available as an unrestricted free agent, alongside Michael Osborne and Tom Murphy.
Brisbane national talent manager Rob Kerr said his club was, for the second consecutive trade period, interested in luring Tippett. But if the Lions are trumped in the chase for the key forward - their Queensland rival Gold Coast is the favourite - he said their focus is likely to shift to recruiting an experienced midfielder. Melbourne's Brent Moloney was confirmed as a target, but so too was Young.
''If that's the path we go down then we'd certainly revisit it and have a look at Brent. We might also have a look at a Clinton Young … as well,'' Kerr told the AFL website. ''They are free agents, hence they don't cost you a draft pick. They're the type we would go and consider.''
Moloney's manager, Bruce Kaider of One Management, conceded Essendon's interest in Moloney, a restricted free agent whose exit has been mutually confirmed by Moloney and the Demons, had waned since it recruited Brendon Goddard from St Kilda.
''Obviously Brendon goes there and takes up a big chunk of whatever salary-cap space they had remaining. It would certainly make a deal tough at the moment, but you never say never in this game,'' he said on AFL trade radio.
With SCOTT SPITS