Ten weeks for Jaidyn Stephenson? You’ve received to be kidding, AFL!

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Any individual must say it: you, AFL, are an appallingly inept organisation.

Jaidyn Stephenson was silly. No person can dispute that. Guidelines on betting are clear. However a penalty of ten weeks, and an extra 12 suspended, is a gross overreaction.

However why ought to we count on the rest from the AFL?

The Melbourne Soccer Membership is repeatedly accused of tanking, however the AFL didn’t dare use the t-word, regardless of some baffling on-field strikes and a interval of extended poor performances and plenty of murmurs. Till proof emerges that Melbourne did purposely tank, and the AFL do what? Effectively, the AFL do nothing in any respect.

The dilute the expertise pool by introducing additional golf equipment, they saturate the season with video games scheduled at weird occasions, they proceed to champion an inequitable fixture, they alter guidelines to aim to enhance aesthetics within the recreation they deem unpalatable, they mishandle the Adam Goodes state of affairs and challenge an apology years later, and even now, most just lately, they beg innocence in ramped-up safety at video games the place individuals are being reprimanded or tossed out for barracking.

It’s tantamount to watching the on-screen administration of WWE. The distinction is that within the WWE, the administration normally will get their comeuppance. Not with the AFL. If you attempt to query them, if you attempt to maintain them accountable, we get the previous chestnut, “The sport’s in good condition – have a look at the crowds.”

Brisbane Lions fans AFL

(AAP Picture/Dan Peled)

I’ve adopted the sport for 40 years. I adopted it as a result of I used to be drawn to the precise recreation itself – the act of kicking the ball, of marking it, of successful the competition. I didn’t know something about politics, or why guidelines wanted tweaking, or bombastic media protection that feels each second of a footballer’s life must be obtainable for public consumption.

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For me, it was easy: get the ball and kick it. Emulate my heroes. Play in a group and beat our opposition. Come the tip of the week, cheer my group, cheer in opposition to the opposition.

However as I grew older and misplaced that naivety, I may eat the sport on all these totally different ranges and see what a fractured mosaic it’s, like any person dropped it years in the past and by no means put it again collectively fairly proper.

What holds me to it (tenuously now) is my dedication to my group. I don’t suppose I’ve agreed with a single factor the AFL has accomplished for over a decade – the final change I agreed to was permitting a participant to kick from straight in entrance if he marked within the purpose sq.. Wow! Some logic.

The remaining has simply been ridiculous posturing that no person’s requested for, and which continues to distort the sport and alienate it from its fan-base.

The penalty imposed on Jaidyn Stephenson is as ridiculous as most issues the AFL do. The child self-reports. I shudder to suppose what the penalty would’ve been if he hadn’t. However they whack him anyway. Ten weeks. In the meantime, watching a recreation on TV includes being inundated with Sportsbet adverts the place Nathan Brown espouses all the brand new enticements to gamble.

Jaidyn Stephenson of the Magpies

(Picture by Quinn Rooney/Getty Photos)

Domesticate in your viewers – within the very youngsters you’re claiming to nurture into the subsequent era to develop the sport – that playing is nice, that there are not any actual losses now (due to all these Nathan Brown spouts about your group being in entrance on the breaks, blah blah).

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Inculcate your audiences to the symbiotic relationship playing now shares with the AFL, given we get odds on video games, premiership favourites, who’ll win the Brownlow, the checklist goes on. It have to be good given the pervasiveness of its promotion.

Jaidyn Stephenson did a silly factor. He tried to make it proper by self-reporting. And the AFL smashed him.

Right here’s the lesson for all you on the market: deny all the pieces for so long as you’ll be able to.

In the long term, it’ll work out significantly better for you.


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