Adams says fine will be deterrent for umpire abuse


Earlier this week, Carlton’s Dale Thomas was handed a fine for calling boundary umpire Michael Barlow a “f—ing cheat” and a “d—head” amid an abusive spray following a call involving the new six-six-six rule.

Thomas pleaded guilty at the tribunal and said he had phoned the umpire to apologise directly.

But Jeff Gleeson QC called for a base sanction of $10,000, arguing such abuse undermines the impartiality, fairness and integrity of the role.

Adams said that he could understand how Thomas lost control, especially as the players get used to the new rule, but also welcomed the AFL’s hardline stance.

“I’m fine with the AFL coming down really hard on players.”

Adams said the tribunal ruling was a precedent-setter that would remind players to bite their tongue.

“I think guys will individually see that and think ‘I’m going to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to be paying $7500 for calling an umpire a cheat, it’s not worth it.'”

The precedent has been set, we all know what’s happening now.

Taylor Adams, Collingwood midfielder

He described the typical relationship between umpires and players as “respectful” and welcomed the umpires’ communication with the players throughout the game.

“I love the communication the umpires have with the players. They’re human and they know the game really, really well,” he said.

He welcomed the initiative to put microphones on umpire’s shirts, saying it would provide AFL audiences with a more connected experience to the game.

“The precedent has been set, we all know what’s happening now. I’d be very surprised if you see it again this year.”

Charlotte is a reporter for The Age.

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