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Sledging, racism and the Golden Rule

Gordon P Smith Roar Guru

By Gordon P Smith, Gordon P Smith is a Roar Guru

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85 Have your say

    There were two intriguing statements in the AFL this past week that harken back to the racism column I wrote a few weeks ago.

    One was in the aftermath of the St Kilda-Carlton boilover: the sledges thrown Marc Murphy’s way, and the one he threw at a prostrate Jake Carlisle, which Saints teammate Jarryn Geary took physical offence to on Carlisle’s behalf.

    While the niggling the Saints gave Murphy was apparently not racial (or sexual or religious) in nature, Murphy’s statement that he was offended on his wife’s behalf suggests that there are other topics that are inappropriate on the pitch beyond those ‘big three’.

    Certainly, the call from Paul Roos, Chris Scott, Damian Barrett, and a host of others to “move into the 21st century” has been clarion clear, and Barrett, in particular, points out that the AFL pitch is their workplace, and in no other workplace in Australia would such sledging be acceptable (no other workplace is this competitive, but that’s an argument for another day).

    On Access All Areas, Matthew Lloyd set out a reasonable guideline, one that will change with the times as we have over the years: if you can’t shake a bloke’s hand after the match, or more specifically if he won’t shake yours, then you’ve crossed that line.

    I don’t know what was said to Murphy, and I certainly don’t know what he said to Carlisle, but I strongly suspect that both failed the ‘Lloyd test’.

    The other statement was an off-hand comment by Ross Lyon on the troubled state of former star Harley Bennell, acquired by Fremantle from the Gold Coast two years ago and yet to play a game for the Dockers – at least, the Fremantle version.

    Bennell played for the Peel Dockers last weekend and showed that he’s as troubled as the US President right now. Fremantle ‘docked’ him $5000 for his behaviour on the sideline at three-quarter time, with another $5000 suspended as a carrot for sticking with his rehab program.

    But it was this set of comments from his coach that caught my eye, quoted by Travis King on the AFL’s website:

    “It wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t exactly pleasing. He certainly caused no harm to anybody and wasn’t putting his best foot forward,” Lyon said. “We’ve sanctioned Harley, but we’ll always challenge that behaviour and support the person, and work really hard to get Harley back to his best.

    “It would be a terrible shame, wouldn’t it, to lose a young indigenous footballer in this country of this level of talent.”

    While there is nothing about Lyon’s comment that could be considered racist, it is interesting that part of Bennell’s appeal as a player (to Lyon) is that he is an “indigenous” footballer. Wouldn’t it be a terrible shame if Harley threw away his career through his mistakes regardless of his race?

    In 2017, we all walk an awkward line, a line between politically correct and being honest about the state of the world. Too many people who say they’re just being honest are actually being crude and cruel, while too many trying to espouse political correctness are actually trying to sanitise our speech into meaningless drivel.

    The line between takes both intelligence and courage to walk.

    We do have a race problem: in Australia, where you’re reading this; in America, where I’m writing this; and in the rest of the world as well. To say otherwise is to bury our heads in the sand. But to spend our lives focusing on it would be to encourage that division through constant attention.

    In my earlier column on racism, I mentioned Doug Williams, the first black quarterback in the NFL Super Bowl. He hated the attention. In fact, his fondest wish was to see the day when nobody mentioned the fact that the quarterbacks were black, white, red, or green.

    Christ was clear that the way to get around issues like race was to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Whether that neighbor was white, black, indigenous, or Martian, treat them as you would treat yourself. We get the Golden Rule from this fundamental commandment of the Lord’s, and it’s still a universal guideline even in non-Christian cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – not as they have done to you! You don’t seek revenge through the Golden Rule, you demonstrate equality.

    Sledging becomes easy to regulate if you live your life by this principle. For example, I’m somewhat overweight, and my congenital health issues prevent me from doing much about it. Is my being fat fair game? I’d say so; I joke about it myself. My wife died three years ago; is her death fair game? I would hope not.

    It’s not difficult to figure out the magical imaginary ‘line’ not to cross, if you simply turn the question around. Should you tease Murphy about his wife on some unfounded rumor? Well, how would you react if that was said (repeatedly) to you? Yeah, me neither.

    Ever hear Jarryd Roughhead sledged over his cancer? Expect to hear anything against Jesse Hogan when he returns? Any sledging of Lance Franklin after his bout with depression? Some topics are obviously off the board; for the rest, we turn the question around.


    AAP Image/Rob Blakers

    As for Lyon’s comment? Innocuous. If he’d said about me, “It’d be a shame if we lost an American player of his level of talent”, I’d first question his sanity about describing me in those words, and then I’d say, “Yeah, I see where you’re coming from; it’s good for business from a PR standpoint, to be honest.”

    So, whether you’re Christian or not, following the actual Golden Rule, the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself”, to treat every other person in the world the way you would want to be treated, will get you down that thin line between PC and brutally honest with your character, integrity, and friendships intact.

    Here’s hoping the AFL and its players can conduct themselves in that manner from here on out.

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    The Crowd Says (85)

    • Roar Guru

      May 17th 2017 @ 9:35am
      Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      Always a tough topic to tread into without tiptoeing at some point.

      Re: Geary & Murphy, they can sort that one out amongst themselves. Geary obviously thought he’d crossed the line since he tried to track down Murphy via phone to apologise. Agree that there shouldn’t be a sledging code of conduct – setting rules & regulations around whatever inanity falls out of the mouths of these guys would be the height of stupidity.

      “We object to the term urine soaked hell-hole when you could have said pee-pee soaked heckhole”

      “Cheerfully withdrawn!”

      Re: Lyon & Bennell, nothing to it. Yes it’s a shame but to try and imply that indigenous status is some sort of Voldermortesque style term “he who should not be named” is just painful. Ross said it because he’s seen guys like Dayle Garlett, Yarran, Murray Newman, Neville Jetta and others bomb out because they couldn’t get their issues under control, and it is a damn shame when it happens. Does he want Bennell to fail? No. So that should be the end of it. I suspect that’s what you’re getting at anyway.

      This sort of stuff bubbles up every so often and disappears. Remember Sam Mitchell miming injecting to the Dons players a few years ago? Storm in a syringe.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am
        Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Paul, I disagree with your first line. I don’t think it’s a tough topic to tread into at all. You can’t sledge an opponent about his race, religion or sexual preferences and you certainly shouldn’t be sledging family members either. They are not a participant so why should players be making any sort of remark especially of a sexual nature about them.

        Would any of the St Kilda players who sledged Murphy with sexual remarks about his wife repeat them to him off the field – I doubt it so why should it be ok on the field.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 11:27am
          Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          More a comment on the writing style – softly, softly, even subconsciously.

          It’s hard to put into words but it’s difficult sometimes to reconcile the principles we hold on this issue vs the behavior some players demonstrate. How much punishment do you dish out for offensive comments? At what point do you forgive and forget? Because everyone says different things with different context it becomes very hard to have hard and fast penalties and consistency.

          Not saying I agree with the behavior, I don’t, but I’m also mindful of practicalities and not wanting to crucify people for something they said in the heat of the moment & which they now regret saying.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 11:38am
            Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:38am | ! Report

            I understand what you are saying Paul but the fact that the sledges were not being made by just one player but others as well then it is more than just in the heat of the moment. I would hate to think those players got together before the game and came up with this plan to distract Murphy but it certainly doesn’t sound coincidental.

            I think they are lucky that the sledges were not heard by an umpire or picked up on their mics like Heath Shaws comment a few weeks ago.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:04pm
          Gecko said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

          Col the workplace of the AFL footballer is not a normal workplace. Out on the field, players’ adrenalin levels are up and they’re getting physically hammered. Applying normal workplace standards of etiquette to a footy field is ridiculous. There still need to be standards on a footy field but these should be looser. If those sexual remarks were the standard remarks made on a footy field about a player’s wife – no big deal.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2017 @ 2:34pm
            Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

            Sorry Gecko but I disagree. Why should footballers be allowed to make remarks about someone that if said in public they might find themselves open to slander laws simply because it is said on a football field. What comeback rights do Marc Murphys wife have against the pornographic sexual remarks made by the St Kilda players. These weren’t standard remarks made otherwise why did the St Kilda captain feel the need to apologise. Why was Marc Murphy in such an agitated state during and after the game.

            Finally I can’t believe that any sexual remark made against a wife or partner or any female for that matter can be classed as “no big deal”. Would you be happy to be down the pub with your mates listening to them or strangers make sexual remarks about your wife or partner. I know I wouldn’t and the pub is not a normal work place either.

            • May 18th 2017 @ 12:47pm
              Gecko said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

              Sorry Col but there’s a difference between a pub and a footy field and there’s a difference between legal slander and comments made privately on a footy field.

              Up until last week you could get away with swearing at somebody and tackling somebody to the ground on a footy field but you couldn’t do it in a pub or playing lawn bowls. Sure there need to be standards for the footy field but they need to be looser.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 4:29pm
                Mark said | May 18th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                At Etihad in front of 30,000 and half a million watching at home isn’t private.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am
        Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

    • May 17th 2017 @ 10:35am
      Joe B said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      If the comments that Carlisle, and co, allegedly said to Murphy were to happen in any other work environment they would be sacked. This should be no different. It is disappointing to have to regulate for common decency, but we have done it before… just do it again. Have to admit, it is particularly weak to attack the character of a female loved one.
      A bit off the mark suggesting Christianity is the originator and keeper of morality.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 11:44am
        Perry Bridge said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        “suggesting Christianity is the originator and keeper of morality”

        If that were the case…..GOD help us all!!!!!

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 11:47am
          Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          Leviticus 23:2 – and the Lord said, above all else, don’t let those gay blokes get married

        • May 17th 2017 @ 12:27pm
          Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

          The first written example of the golden rule or close enough was in the middle kingdom era in egypt. A couple of thousand years before Christianity was invented. I have a strong feeling that Chinese Taoists have been spouting it for almost as long.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 12:17pm
        Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        I’d have thought a hip and shoulder would get you sacked in most other vocations as well. I reckon going for a speccy might see you out the door too.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 1:31pm
          Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          Slane – if I went into my work and started knocking down walls, running electrical cable or ringing people to sell insurance it would get me sacked – does that mean I don’t have any workplace rights?

          • May 17th 2017 @ 1:52pm
            Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

            What are you on? Different behaviour is acceptable in different work places. What is acceptable on a football field is not acceptable in other workplaces. What is acceptable at your workplace is not acceptable in mine. How is this a hard one to understand?

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2017 @ 2:08pm
              Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

              Not sure, but it makes perfect sense to me

              Anyone thinks football can solve this problem by rolling out a HR program is kidding themselves

              • May 17th 2017 @ 7:32pm
                joe b said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

                that is exactly what they did for racial, religious, and sexual orientation vilification. And it worked straight away… having said this, that type of abuse is not that common anymore according to other articles on this incident.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm
              Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

              Slane – the point is in every workplace employees are asked to perform certain tasks as part of their work, these tasks are not universal. Also in every workplace employees are entitled to certain rights, these are universal.

              This being the case your comment of “I’d have thought a hip and shoulder would get you sacked in most other vocations as well. I reckon going for a speccy might see you out the door too.” is irrelevant to the premise that every employee is entitled to go to their workplace and not get abused.

              How is this a hard one to understand?

              • May 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm
                Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

                For me the hard part here is trying to figure out if you are being deliberately obtuse or if you are genuinely blind to your own false equivalency. The genuinely mystifying part is that you can somehow see my deliberate false equivalency(used to bring up the absurdity of the ‘in any other workplace argument’) but can’t even begin to comprehend your own.

                At all workplaces if you punched a fellow employee in the head you would be fired and possibly charged with assault. It is a universal right to not be physically assaulted at your job. On the football field if you punched a fellow employee in the head you could get away with a fine or a trip to the MRP.

                At all workplaces if you slapped a fellow employee on the butt after they did something good you would be fired and possibly charged with sexual assault/misconduct. On the football field if you slap a fellow employee on the butt after they did something good nobody would think anything of it.

                At all workplaces if somebody offered you a better wage and benefits but your employer refused to let you move to your new place of employment you could take them to court for breaching your right to trade unimpeded. In the AFL we call that the trade period.

                Do I need to keep going? Physical intimidation is not acceptable in any workplace(does standing over a prone fellow employee count?). Spitting on the ground is against OHS. Do AFL players get paid more when they play on Sunday? Isn’t it a universal right to feel physicially safe whilst at work? We should sack every player who ever grabbed another blokes shirt.

                It is genuinely absurd to pretend that an AFL field should be bound by the same rules as every other workplace when it so obviously isn’t like any other workplace.

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2017 @ 5:05pm
                Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

                Great response Slane. I think you will find though Macca likes arguing too much to ever concede a point. Or he’ll just switch topics to something else

                arguing with him is like trying to excavate Uluru – utterly futile and you need a long shower afterwards

              • May 17th 2017 @ 5:08pm
                Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                Slane – When you sign up to any job you accept certain conditions of employment – an AFL footballer accepts that it is part of his job to get hit within the rules.

                If a player got hit outside the rules and was unable to continue his employment they would have a case to pursue.

                Sean Rehn brought an unsafe workplace suit due to the AFL’s use of a rubber disc to help bounce the ball, Adrian Whitehead sued the Blues for not correctly treating his foot injury which ended his career.

                And as for “At all workplaces if you slapped a fellow employee on the butt after they did something good you would be fired and possibly charged with sexual assault/misconduct. On the football field if you slap a fellow employee on the butt after they did something good nobody would think anything of it.” it was not so long ago (or even present day if you work for John Laws) that it was considered acceptable practice in all work places – if an AFL footballer feels the slapping is inappropriate they have the right to bring a case.

                Not everyone gets paid more for working Sundays – many workplaces get paid above award rates everyday in lieu of penalty rates.

                As you yourself say “Different behaviour is acceptable in different work places.” but that doesn’t mean that every person going to work in every work place doesn’t have a right for that workplace to be safe, fit for purpose and free from harassment.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 5:22pm
                Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

                Slane – the armed forces isn’t a regular job (the don’t get paid extra on Sunday’s, the get “assaulted” at work etc) and not so long ago it was considered a normal part of the “hardening up” and bonding process to have a bit of “sump up the rump” type action – do they not have the same work place rights to safety and lack of harassment as the rest of us?

              • May 17th 2017 @ 6:13pm
                Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

                Slane – 30 years ago getting belted behind the part was considered part of football, sub standard ground conditions were part of football, rac!st and s-x!st behaviour were part of football, playing hurt and concussed were part of football – times change and workplace rights are playing a much bigger part as professionalism increases.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 6:38pm
                SmithHatesMaxwell said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

                Enough with this workplace rubbish when we talk about footballers out on the field.

                They are professional sportsmen playing a contact sport. They are also entertainers and celebrities.

                Do they sue their employer everytime they are injured in the course of carrying out their employment duties? What about everytime their coach/manager yells and humiliates them? No of course not.

                I guarantee they say things just as insulting as what Carlisle said in AFLW. The little I watched of AFLW the players where always giving each other a gobful.

                Different mentality I suppose. Not overindulged footballers.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 8:19am
                Macca said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

                SHM- Syd Jackson was told not to be so soft about the abuse he copped too.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 10:44am
      I ate pies said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      Good point about Bennell, and it supports my argument on your previous column; we are now defined by our race in this country. We are going backwards as a society.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 2:07pm
        Gecko said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Perhaps Bennell does get annoyed by frequent references to his race. But the occasional discussion of race is valuable. Indigenous Australia does need role models and Ross seemed to be observing that Bennell could one day be such a model.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:37pm
          I ate pies said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

          Indigenous Australia needs role models regardless of race; it’s racist to assume that Aboriginal kids can only look up to other Aborigines, and by telling them that perpetuates the us vs them mentality that is not helping anyone.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 10:37am
            I ate pies said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            Let’s put aside yet another insult from you for a moment. Do you really think that the only role models Aboriginal kids could/should have are Aboriginals? And you don’t think that that perpetuates the us vs them mentality?

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 12:28pm
              Paul D said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

              Assume you’re replying to me, I can’t see my original post to you.

              No. But I also don’t think there is an issue in aboriginal kids wanting aboriginal role models

              There is a giant divide in this country between aboriginals and non-aboriginals in virtually every demographic ranking you care to assess – wealth, employment, incarceration, life expectancy, drug & alcohol use – simply trying to pretend it should be otherwise and blaming everything on an identity culture is a facile argument

              The aboriginals were already marginalised and treated like dirt long before offence culture and identity politics became a thing. Us vs them has been in existence since 1788 and to try and pretend it’s a recent invention or that they are somehow milking this is laughable

    • May 17th 2017 @ 10:57am
      ChrisT said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

      I %#@$$ your mum last night……If your stupid enough to fall for this stuff, then expect alot more of it to come your way.
      Only the weak of mind could possibly be offended by meaningless crap said on a football field….unless what was said was true.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2017 @ 11:27am
        Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        Chris T, when the Coach admits the stepped over the line and the Captain feels the need to make contact and apologise then I think it is a lot worse than i%#@$$ your mother.

        Murphy’s young wife has been the target of keyboard warriors for the past 18 months about false accusations of a sexual nature. Obviously this will only get these tr0lls salivating and she will cop more sh#t. Considering the effects slanderous remark made on social media can have on a persons mental state do you really think it is okay for AFL footballers to contribute through sledging.

        No form of disrespect to a woman is acceptable unless you are a Neanderthal.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2017 @ 11:34am
        Paul D said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        From all accounts the sledging was of a sexual nature involving a rumour about Murphy’s wife & Wayne Carey that keeps getting resuscitated by various online necromancers and has been doing the rounds for about 18 months

        There’s no truth to it, one of those things that someone has cooked up and now has a life of its own. I’m probably not helping matters by giving it oxygen now, but whatever. This is the pernicious reality we live in now, where false news stories can just drag on and on and on.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 11:46am
          Col from Brissie said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          Wayne Carey has stated that he has never even met Murphys wife but since the rumours stated as you said 18 months ago he has been in constant contact with Murphy and they have become friends. They thought about going public to deny the rumours but decided that it would only give oxygen to the tr0lls and were hopeful it would die a natural death. Thanks to Carlisle and his mates the oxygen levels are going up.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 6:08pm
            me too said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

            Murphy’s worn this before in games. So no Carlsile hasn’t given oxygen to the rumour. He sledged Carlisle about his public drug use and stupidity. Carlisle sledged him back with the rumour about his wife. ‘Kneel down before the King’, or words to that effect. If it is not true then why react, if it is true, then I have no problem with Murphy getting angry and sledging Carlisle whilst down – he lost his better judgement in a cloud of anger. It happens. Both opened their mouths without thinking of any longer term ramifications than getting under the skin of their opponent. What I find poor is Carlton and Murphy giving the rumour oxygen by going to the media with it. His poor wife has to suffer that. Did he consult her first? No, it was a PR move to excuse Murphy sledging an injured opponent. It has backfired horribly on him and more importantly, his wife.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:34pm
          steve said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

          Paul, Col, The truth is we don’t know if these rumours are true or not, despite denials from the parties involved which I believe is always best to take with a grain of salt. I’m more of a ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’ kind of person. There are only two people who really know what happened or didn’t happen in regards to the alleged rumour. But it certainly give the media and internet users something to write about even though none of us know anything at all apart from rumoured shenanigans between someone with form for this in the past and if the rumours are to be believed, a woman who was collecting football players like other people collect coins. Again, none of us know anything as fact, just what is drip fed to us.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 7:41pm
            joe b said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

            anyone can make up a rumour… just put it out there on comment sections in online articles, twitter, facebook… after a while someone will believe it and re-broadcast as fact. So.. NO… now you should take every thing you see online as most likely rubbish.. there is no fire, just smog.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 12:13pm
        Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

        I used to cop it about my sister every game I ever played and I agree with you. You would have to be a very silly person to get sucked in.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 1:34pm
          Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          Slane – if you saw the bloke who had been claiming to have shagged your sister writhing in pain after a serious blow to the tackle would you have walked by and not said anything?

          • May 17th 2017 @ 1:50pm
            Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

            Do you see me criticizing Marc Murphy’s on field behaviour?

            • May 17th 2017 @ 1:57pm
              Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              Murphy has stated he was offended by the comments, you agreed that “Only the weak of mind could possibly be offended by meaningless crap said on a football field” – I joined the dots.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 4:30pm
                Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

                I think you need to re-read the question you originally asked me. I have no problem with what Murphy, Carlisle, Carlton or St Kilda did on the field. If Murphy is still upset by it, especially when he knows it isn’t true, then yes he is weak of mind. It would serve him well to learn how to ignore imbicilic behaviour.

              • May 17th 2017 @ 4:57pm
                Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                Slane – no problem with my understanding of the question.

                You have no problem with Murphy lashing out at Carlisle (ie getting upset) but you think anyone who gets upset by being taunted is “weak of mind” – do you see the contradiction?

              • May 17th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                Slane said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                The contradiction is only really there because I didn’t do a very good job of differentiating between when it’s alright to feel aggrieved and when it isn’t. In the perfect world Murphy should have been able to rise above Carlisle but he couldn’t. He let Carlisle now how he felt and we had a scuffle. What Murphy didn’t do, was let Carlisle get under his skin to a point where it affected his game. Murphy played out a very good game and was largely unaffected by the sledging whilst on the field.

                Once the game was over Murphy is/was obviously not able to put aside what was said. Even knowing that what the Saints said was completely unfounded he has turned the whole thing into a spectacle. Honestly, it’s a bit like you and Mattybs. You know he is wrong, you know he is talking out of his preverbial and yet you’ll waste your time trying to correct him. Marc Murphy knows his wife is faithful and yet he will now spend the rest of the season fielding pointless questions about sledging and defending his honourable wifes honour.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 9:06am
                Macca said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Slane – every aboriginal player who ever reacted to a sledge was told he should have been able to rise above it and was “weak of mind” to let it get to him.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm
        Pope Paul VII said | May 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        well in the olden days the sledger would most likely cop a belting, probably later and he wouldn’t see it coming. Now with the fear of punishment (unless you are an AFL darling jumper puncher) they call people names

      • May 17th 2017 @ 1:19pm
        Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

        Chris T – Given Murphy racked up 28 possession, kicked 2 goals and laid 5 tackles it clearly didn’t have a negative impact on Murphy, I just think after copping truck loads of abuse from Carlisle about his wife getting shagged the delicious irony of seeing Carlisle unlikely to be able to shag anyone anytime soon was too much to pass up.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2017 @ 1:32pm
          Pumping Dougie said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

          I agree. Can hardly blame for Murphy for saying something back to Carlisle in the circumstances.

          Macca, do you think Carlton teammates should have ‘flown the flag’ more throughout the game for their captain, if the Saints players were continually ripping into him?

          I know they are restricted in what action they can take, given the MRP. Pity they didn’t win for him.

          The Saints haven’t done their reputation any favours, but the sport seems to like bullies and snipers (look how much praise the “unsociable hawks” phrase gains in the media).

          • May 17th 2017 @ 1:38pm
            Macca said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

            PD – As you say it is a bit hard to fly the flag these days and I am happy the blues remained disciplined and kept cracking in. Murphy is a big boy and can handle himself when it comes to those remarks and the performance he put in showed he wasn’t getting rattled – when push cam to shove the boys flew the falg but also had mart heads like Simpson, Docherty & Kreuzer take the chance to get things set up and get back to the centre ready for the umpire to restart if they went that way to stop the melee.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 11:13am
      Brendan Read said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Just a little correction to your story….Buddy Franklin was sledged over his battle with depression.
      Shane Mumford remember? With these very opinionated pieces it’s best to get your facts exactly right.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 11:57am
      BigAl said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      A few points re. your piece Gordon.
      1. Adam Raminauskas of Essendon WAS sledged over his cancer.

      2. Thompson of North Melbourne WAS belittled/sledged? by Wayne Carey over his depression on a TV Footy Panel – not an onfield incident I know but it was amongst …”bunch of footy blokes avin’ a larfff ” indicating (then?) it was an acceptable part of the culture…

      3. Barretts comment re. workplace environment is spot on. I remember people carrying on about playing a team game such as footy was “character building” – well ??? What’s wrong with treating opponents with basic human respect (not just from a Christian perspective) and concentrate on beating them in the professional contest that you’re involved in.

      4. Your attempts to weave some sort of “racist spin…” over Lyon’s comments on Bennell is a total red herring !

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2017 @ 12:32am
        Gordon P Smith said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:32am | ! Report

        BigAl, thanks for the direct feedback. I didn’t know points one and two; your comment about it being “then?” acceptable is probably spot on. And if Mumford got on Buddy’s case, Brendan, I’ll confess I’ve forgotten that.

        As for point 4, I wouldn’t have called it a red herring, but I included it to point out the contrast between being racist and bringing up race in a more constructive context. I certainly wasn’t putting any “racist spin” on Lyon’s comments – to the contrary, I exonerate him completely.

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