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Clarkson facing AFL investigation into 'vile language' towards umpires: 'Two of the worst words you can use'

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29th May, 2024
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North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson is being investigated by the AFL, after allegedly abusing the umpires during the Kangaroos’ Round 11 loss to Port Adelaide in Hobart.

According to Nine‘s Tom Morris, the four-time premiership coach reacted to an umpiring decision with an audible ‘profanity’.

If found guilty, Clarkson is facing a two-match suspension, that would sideline him for the Kangaroos’ matches against West Coast and Collingwood following this weekend’s bye.

“Clarkson was incensed by an umpiring decision in the second half and shouted a profanity,” Morris reported on Nine News.

“It is accepted those close to the situation that the four-time premiership coach used vile language which was audible to official nearby.

“But what the league’s investigation will uncover was whether he shouted it towards the bench of AFL match officials or not.”

Herald Sun chief football reporter Mark Robinson later added on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 that Clarkson had used ‘two of the worst words you can use in the English language’, but was adamant they were not directed at anyone in particular.


“My understanding is Clarkson heard those words but didn’t direct them at anyone. There was only a small crowd there, it’s been heard and Clarkson hasn’t denied using those words,” Robinson said.

“But he’s told people that he didn’t direct them at anybody. The AFL is trying to further establish that as we speak.”

Robinson added that even if the slur wasn’t directed at anyone, merely using it as the league attempts to stamp out abusive language could warrant a suspension.

“Does the use of those two word in an audible situation by a man who’s got a two-week suspended sentence over his head, is that worth acting on the two-week suspension?” he said.

“The AFL can’t walk past that… they represent a big community in Australia, and once again Clarkson, who’s as high profile as any person in this game, finds himself in headlines he doesn’t want nor the AFL.”

It’s the second time this season Clarkson is facing a sanction for foul language, having been handed a $20,000 fine for a homophobic slur directed at St Kilda players including Jimmy Webster in a pre-season match after a brutal bump concussed Roos captain Jimmy Webster.


Clarkson called the players ‘c—suckers’, with the league having since significantly expanded bans for homophobic language, handing Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson and Gold Coast’s Wil Powell three- and five-match suspensions respectively.