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The Roar


'Players should never, ever be touched': Tigers slam fan incident with Marlion Pickett, AFL to investigate

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5th August, 2023

The AFL will investigate an ugly incident at Marvel Stadium after Richmond utility Marlion Pickett was touched over the fence by a fan.

Just before three-quarter-time in Friday night’s match, Pickett was chasing Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli into the Tigers’ defensive 50 and he ran right towards the fence.

A fan in the crowd reached over to mockingly put a hand on Pickett’s shoulder, with the dual Richmond premiership player turning around and knocking a drink out of the supporter’s hand.

As soon as the siren sounded at three-quarter-time, Pickett made a beeline towards the same section of the crowd where the incident happened and briefly interacted with a security guard.

The 31-year-old had a long conversation with Richmond football boss Tim Livingstone before the final quarter began, which Pickett started sitting on the bench.

Interim Richmond coach Andrew McQualter said it was “disappointing” the incident happened.

“I don’t know full details, but it shouldn’t happen,” he said.


“We love fans in our game, and they’re so critical to our game, but our players should never, ever be touched when they’re on the football field. 

“I think all Marlion was doing was alerting Tim (Livingstone) to the fact that something happened, and just getting security to deal with it and the AFL will deal with it now.”

Back in 2018, an Adelaide supporter was banned from attending games at the Adelaide Oval for the rest of that season after reaching over the fence and touching Bulldogs captain Easton Wood on the backside.

Pickett missed a game earlier in the season after he appeared in a Perth court on a dozen charges, including four counts of aggravated burglary, three of stealing and three of criminal damage.

He has played 76 games for Richmond, having famously made his AFL debut in their 2019 premiership triumph, just months after being recruited via the mid-season draft.