The Giants captain wasn’t pulling his punches here!
Sydney co-captain Dane Rampe’s AFL-imposed fine for sledging an umpire could be challenged by the Swans with the backing of the players’ union, who agree it is excessive.
Rampe on Tuesday was slapped with a $10,000 fine for telling an umpire he “talks like a little girl” during a round-eight clash at the SCG.
Half of the amount was suspended but the Swans remain unhappy and are considering taking the case to the AFL appeals board.
The AFL Players’ Association have also examined the case and are broadly supportive of Sydney appealing the sanction.
AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield on Wednesday suggested the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
“We think it’s fairly excessive given it’s a $10,000 fine with $5000 suspended,” the Geelong midfielder told reporters.
“We’re doing some work around that and just how fair that is and how that sits with the consistency around other fines for incidents we’ve seen over the last few years.
“I think there’s still some work to play out there.”
Sydney football boss Tom Harley also labelled the fine excessive while stressing that the club did not condone Rampe’s comments.
“There have been other cases where players have been pulled up for misconduct and they certainly have’t been fined to the same level,” he told SEN radio.
“We’ll have our own internal view on that and there is an opportunity to respond clearly and avenues to appeal.
“We’re not jumping to conclusions as to what path we go down but we’ll certainly have an internal discussion about that.”
The AFL was highly unimpressed with Rampe’s remarks, which came while fuming about a call from umpire Jacob Mollison that he didn’t hear.
Football operations manager Steve Hocking labelled the comments “completely unacceptable” after booking Rampe for ‘conduct unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the AFL’.
Rampe also received a suspended $1000 fine for scaling a goal post during the chaotic after-the-siren finish of the Swans’ win over Essendon.
Bombers coach John Worsfold on Wednesday said he had been confused by the AFL’s handling of that incident.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan defended the umpire’s decision not to pay a free kick against Rampe, and the incident was taken out of match review officer Michael Christian’s hands to be assessed by Hocking’s football department.
“We certainly sought out clarification from the AFL early in the week … how it got to that outcome, you could say that it was long-winded,” Worsfold said.
Rampe apologised publicly in response to both incidents and Harley described the key defender as “deeply embarrassed”.