Richmond’s Dustin Martin Fined & Banned for Offensive on-field Behaviour
Richmond’s star player Dustin Martin will be playing against Sydney Swans next week after his two-match ban was reduced to one. The ban had been imposed on him by the AFL for displaying aggressive behaviour on field against Greater Western Sydney’s Adam Kennedy.
Amidst the absence of star players like Trent Cotchin, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt due to injuries, Martin’s suspension will surely hit Richmond FC, as the club would play without its “Big Four” for the first time since 2010.
During Dustin’s match with Great Western Sydney on the previous Saturday, he raised middle finger towards Adam Kennedy and made a drug snorting action. Aggressive behaviour like this from Martin, who keeps his cool during matches, came after being checked closely by persistent GWS tagger Matt de Boer, and in previous week by Collingwood’s Levi Greenwood.
Martin’s aggressive behaviour caused him a fine of $7500 and one-match ban (reduced from two after the appeal from his lawyers). His lawyer’s appeal to consider the incident as low impact, instead of medium, successfully went through. However, he had to pay the sum of $2,500 immediately while the remaining $5,000 can still be paid till 2020.
The 2017 Brownlow medallist apologised for his behaviour on Twitter, on Wednesday. He tweeted, “Frustrating one on the weekend!! I understand my reaction is not a good look for the game. I apologise for my actions. Thanks.”
Martin also issued an apology, along with a written explanation to the AFL.
Even though Martin is unable to play against Port Adelaide, he is all set to make a comeback against Sydney Swans. Richmond is aware of the fact that the star midfielder needs to keep his emotions in check, however, they have also complained about the lack of protection for Martin.
After Martin’s hearing on Tuesday night, Tigers football boss Neil Balme said, “He’s just got to take a breath. 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.”
Hopefully, a one-match ban and a fine of $7,500, would be enough to teach Dustin Martin a lesson that abusive behaviour or rage is not expected from anyone on the field. On the other hand, Richmond should be prepared for the worst for their next match with Port Adelaide, as the “big four” of the team would not be on the field.
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