RICHMOND star Dustin Martin has apologised on social media after being fined $2500 by the AFL for directing abusive gestures towards GWS opponents.
Martin raised his middle finger, simulated a drug-snorting gesture and launched an abusive sledge towards an opponent – widely believed to be ruckman Shane Mumford – during the Tigers’ loss to the Giants last weekend in Sydney.
The AFL has confirmed Martin has been fined $7500, with $5000 suspended until the end of 2020.
Martin had been given until the close of business on Tuesday to respond to a “please explain” from AFL House.
The 2017 Brownlow Medallist, who also copped a one-game suspension and a $1500 fine for separate incidents during the game, apologised on Wednesday for his outburst.
“Frustrating one on the weekend!!,” Martin posted on Twitter. “I understand my reaction is not a good look for the game.. I apologise for my actions. Thanks.”
Martin will miss Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide but is free to face Sydney the following week after successfully having his two-game ban for striking GWS opponent Adam Kennedy downgraded by the AFL tribunal.
While the ever-reticent Martin didn’t give evidence, his lawyers successfully argued the off-ball incident deserved to be classified as low impact, rather than medium.
The outburst from the normally unflappable Martin came during a game in which he was checked closely by relentless GWS tagger Matt de Boer, having also been targeted the week before by Collingwood’s Levi Greenwood.
While Richmond have complained of a perceived lack of protection for Martin, the club are well aware their star midfielder also has a responsibility to manage his emotions.
“He’s just got to take a breath,” Tigers football boss Neil Balme told reporters on Tuesday night.
“He’s a very, very good player. He gets the treatment because that’s what he is. He’s just got to get past it and we’ve got to help him a bit with it.”
Already missing Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt to injury, Martin’s suspension ensures Richmond will line up without any of their “big four” for the first time since 2010 when they face the Power at Adelaide Oval.
© AAP 2019