The Richmond Football Club has been the envy of the competition for the last three and a bit years, claiming two of the three available premierships in that time.
The key to their success has no doubt been the culture the football club has developed.
Led from the top by President Peggy O’Neal and CEO Brendon Gale, that culture has crept all the way through the football club.
The Tigers have turned into one of the biggest powerhouses in Australian sport, smashing through the 100,000 member barrier in 2018 and 2019 and closing in on that staggering number again in 2020.
Over the past few weeks the Tigers have been under scrutiny for numerous incidents that may be starting to drag that culture through the mud.
When looked at in their entirety these incidents show what might be a pattern of behaviour that isn’t showing the club in a great light.
The obvious incident to mention is the groping scandal that has arisen over the past few weeks, defenders Nick Vlaustin and Jayden Short were seen fondling the genitals of ruckman Mabior Chol.
Chol clearly didn’t want to be touched, yet the incident took place over two separate weeks after Richmond wins.
An underrated incident and consequence from these actions was coach Damien Hardwick’s lie to the media when asked for his comment on the matter.
Hardwick and media manager Jaimee Damon, dismissed the questions stating they weren’t aware of the issue. However that weekend Hardwick admitted he knew of the incident and had dealt with it at the time of asking.
Hardwick then left the press conference early as a result of the journalist continuing to press the issue.
Lying to the media about an incident such as that is disappointing and leaving the conference early because of such questions is a poor move especially considering the nature of the incident.
It wasn’t about on-field tactics or anything that would affect the club on-field, it was about what was seen by some as a sexual assault.
If we then shift the focus on-field, the actions of Richmond’s two key forwards, Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch in particular have raised some eyebrows, both have been cited by the match review officer for incidents that can only be labelled as poor.
Lynch was fined $500 for an aggressive shove to the back of Brisbane defender Alex Witherden’s head while he was on his stomach and unable to defend himself.
Riewoldt was also fined the week later, he was reprimanded for striking Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas in the groin, another action that has no place in our game.
The Tigers are sitting in sixth on the AFL ladder, if they plan on making a push for a second straight premiership and a third in four years, the club needs to address this pattern of behaviour.