But Carlton officials were bewildered when they received the AFL memo, particularly when coach Brendon Bolton was so supportive of the umpires after the game.
“I’m not going into any space around umpiring, because all it does as a senior coach talking about free kicks – this caper is so hard to play and it’s even harder, I think, to umpire,” Bolton said.
“We want people to be involved in our game and come along and umpire and be involved in all levels and love that role, so I’m in total support of umpiring.
‘‘They’ll get it right and wrong at times, but a senior coach making comment on it, I don’t think it does any favours for people wanting to be umpires in future.
“It’s hard a caper and we’ve got to understand they’re human.”
The AFL has been noticeably encouraging of the umpires in recent weeks after revelations emerged the officiators were frustrated with the lack of public support in the early stages of the season.
The umpires’ anger reached boiling point when they were booed off the ground following the thrilling Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon and their decisions weren’t publicly ratified by the league’s football department.
This lead to the umpires organising their own media to protect their own image.
Since then, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan publicly defended the decision to not punish Sydney co-captain Dane Rampe for climbing the post. Rampe himself was then fined $10,000 ($5000 suspended) for telling an umpire, “You sound like a little girl,” while Carlton veteran Dale Thomas was sent directly to the tribunal where he was fined $7500 for calling a boundary umpire a “f—ing cheat.”
AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking, who has been noticeably absent over the last fortnight, will front the media on Wednesday with the league’s Competition Committee due at AFL House for a scheduled meeting.
The latest please explain sent to Carlton isn’t the first time that a Hocking-lead football operations has warned fans for their behaviour
Hocking sent a strong message in the wake of the booing of Geelong champion Gary Ablett and said the AFL would take action if the booing continued, refusing to rule out that he would utilise the power of the Integrity Unit.
Sam McClure won the Clinton Grybas rising star award at the AFL media association awards in 2015.