Are Murphy, Laidler and Minson sorry?
It has been a controversial week in the AFL. First Marc Murphy and Jeremy Laidler criticised umpiring officials decisions on Twitter during the Thursday night game against West Coast.
Then the Will Minson saga, when a comment he made about the mother of Port Adelaide’s Danyle Pearce sparked a fourth quarter brawl.
Everyone now knows that social media plays a big role in our lives we tweet, post photos on Facebook, like what a friends have to say and follow celebrities etc.
Social media is used by everybody famous or not so famous as a means where we can have our own opinion and share parts of our lives with people who we want to keep in touch with.
Even me right now, writing this opinion piece for The Roar, I am engaging with social media.
Where there is a big grey area is when we use social media to criticise someone or something that we ourselves are not happy about, or use social media in a way in which it could cause harm to that individual or group of people.
Players in the AFL are warned about the consequences of what could happen to them if they post something offensive or harming over social media. This includes criticising umpires over decisions they make during a game.
This is not an new issue. There have been many players and coaches who have been warned and copped hefty fines for criticising on-field decisions from umpires. A famous incident of this natured happened on the Footy Show in 2004 when James Hird criticised umpire Scott McLaren for poor umpiring decisions made during a match between Essendon and St Kilda.
Is speaking out through social media the same as speaking out through other media forms?
Both Murphy and Laidler have apologised to the AFL about the comments on which they made and have said that they were inappropriate.
With Will Minson, you have a situation which is completely and unquestionably unacceptable. He has been suspended for one week.
We have heard this all before with the Patrick McGinnity saga, where he was banned for allegedly threatening to rape Melbourne’s Ricky Petard’s mother.
The AFL tends to take its own very hard-line stance on sledging, with no tolerance for that sort of behaviour and has praised the Western Bulldogs for their sanctions on Minson.
On top of that, Minson had to front the media on Tuesday looking upset. With guilt written all over his face, he apologised to Pearce and his family.
This is not Minson’s first offence for sledging. In 2008 Minson also issued an apology to Kane Cornes for derogatory comments.
The only similarities between the two incidents is that both times he issued speedy apologies about what he had done. The second time around, Minson knew what he had done was wrong and you could see it you could tell that he was genuine despite having committed the same offence before.
However, Murphy and Laidler’s apologies were not genuine. I feel they would have chosen not to apologise if they had the choice.
In my view, an apology must be genuine for it to be accepted, and I don’t accept it. They knew what they were doing and probably don’t feel they have done anything wrong.