Dear AFL Players,
This weekend we saw a Carlton supporter call Clayton Oliver “soft”, who in turn made a threatening return comment who said that the supporter in fact said much more than that, but called him a name. While said player did apologise stating that the supporter did not call him a name, and said that he, the player should not have threatened a supporter like that, I for one don’t really believe that the player is really apologetic. It is because this player has now been embroiled in two issues that in the first instance really had the supporting world in uproar. Yes, I am talking about the Schofield “punch” and the apparent fall of the said player, which was a tad delayed.
On the weekend, the Carlton supporters had a go at Melbourne’s Jordan Lewis who was booed because of the hit on Crippa in a previous match. When he was at the Carlton end, he egged on the crowd to keep going with the taunts. He loved it, we loved it.
On the whole supporters have respect for a majority of players and I stress majority, as I know there are some players who by their own deeds are seen as nothing more than ungrateful, pretentious, well, tools really (insert Waite here). We may taunt you, boo you, call you many things such as soft, weak, or even traitor, but that is just for the footy field and nothing else. I understand that for some players they just can’t help themselves and retaliate and I know that this is a maturity issue and the much learned ability to control their anger, frustration, on a professional level.
We supporters get to watch you play and we have the indelible right to taunt, boo you for who you play and your game, nothing more. We pay money to watch our team on the day, you get paid money to do that, play. We pay money to support our club, our players. We do not like the opposition or its players, but that does not reflect on you as a person, unless you turn on a club that was once supportive of you (insert Waite here) or by your off-field actions which are deemed, well, not ethical.
Please note that we will continue in our role as supporters to taunt and boo. You can egg us on, smile at us sarcastically or even taunt us back, but be aware that this will open a floodgate of taunts back to you. This is not tennis, or golf where silence is demanded, this is footy where the noise of the crowd makes the atmosphere of this game so bloody fantastic.
So please do not cross a line that for the majority of supporters won’t cross. Players that step over that, supporters that step over, won’t be tolerated. Mutual respect of each other’s role, irrespective of where we sit, or play will ensure that this game continues to be the best bloody darn game in the world.