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Opinion

Collingwood again on the wrong side of the AFL and its minions

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Roar Guru
7th August, 2020
73
5218 Reads

What an absolute shock that there will be no sanction on Sydney’s Sam Wicks for wearing metal-studded boots and seriously injuring Collingwood young gun Isaac Quaynor.

I just wonder what the penalty would’ve been had it been Quaynor in the metal boots and Wicks who was injured.

I’m sure there would’ve been sanctions. Journalists would’ve clamoured for them. The likes of Mark Robinson and Caroline Wilson would’ve used their various platforms to implore that the league impose strict penalties to ensure that this would never, ever happen again.

Nope. Nothing (as of yet) from them. Tom Browne has dismissed the injury on Twitter as “spilt milk”.

This is how the AFL and its satellites operate.

Jaidyn Stephenson self-reports when he lays a multi. It’s proven he doesn’t try to make the outcomes happen. And yet he’s whacked with a ten-week suspension.

A kid self-reported on a stupid little multi in an organisation built on the betting dollar, and whose ads inculcate us repeatedly during games with the relentlessness of the brainwashing in A Clockwork Orange.

And this isn’t to excuse Stephenson. But, hey, here’s the lesson next time you make an error that, in all likelihood, will go otherwise unnoticed and slip into oblivion: let it ride.

Steele Sidebottom is caught in his underwear violating the COVID regulations. He’s hit with a four-week suspension.

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Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and assistant couch Brenton Sanderson also breach the COVID regulations by ducking out for a spot of tennis. They’re fined $50,000.

Nathan Buckley, coach of the Magpies, looks dejected

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Essendon’s Connor McKenna tests positive for COVID. He’s found to have breached the AFL’s living arrangement requirements as he visited his former host family. The upcoming Essendon versus Melbourne game is postponed. McKenna later tests negative, but he’s still in violation with the original breach.

His punishment?

Well, nothing.

The Essendon Football Club perpetrate the biggest doping scandal in the history of team sports anywhere in the world, and the AFL’s response?

Again, nothing.

Yet the AFL had no problem whacking Collingwood’s Josh Thomas and Lachlan Keeffe with two-year suspensions when they failed substance tests.

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As far as Essendon goes, WADA has to step in and impose the penalty. Essendon players are suspended for two years (well, really one), and the Bombers have to play with top-ups for the 2016 season. They finish last.

No problem. Here, despite being punished, you can have the number one draft pick. And, no, the circumstances of 2016 are not equivalent to a club suffering lots of injuries and seeing their fortunes plummet – Essendon are punished for wrongdoing. Injuries are misfortune. Misfortune and wrongdoing are not the same thing.

When Collingwood traded for Adam Treloar from GWS, there was an uproar about whether Collingwood – at that time a struggling club – had courted Treloar outside the trade period, and there are calls for an investigation. When Richmond – a recent premier and league powerhouse – do the same with Tom Lynch, nobody utters a whimper.

And now Wicks with his metal incisors slits open the shin of a kid and it’s all, hey, well, okay, it’s unfortunate, but it behoves the clubs to ensure that their players wear the right stops because accidents happen.

That’ll be a comfort to Nathan Buckley and Collingwood, who lose Quaynor for an indefinite period.

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And I’m sure it’s consolation to Quaynor, who was trying to lock down a place in the side and now faces a lengthy and painful convalescence that involve stitches, antibiotics, restriction on what he can do, and an uncertain outcome on how exactly such an injury will heal.

To the AFL and its minions: you go hard when you want to – if Collingwood’s involved, it’s guaranteed.

But when it’s somebody else?

The rationalisations are astonishing.