Integrity unit delivers verdict in Crisp social media scandal, stars opt for tribunal, Nicks slams ‘cowardly act’

The AFL has confirmed its integrity unit interviewed Collingwood’s Jack Crisp on Tuesday in relation to content that was uploaded to social media last week. 
Crisp was investigated over content distributed last week without his consent. The AFLIU accepted the content was taken a number of years ago, and said Crisp admitted it was he who sent the images to another person.
“Crisp has acknowledged the content and his language, regardless of the setting, was extremely inappropriate and will issue a public apology this afternoon via Collingwood,” the AFL said in a statement.
“In assessing the situation, AFLIU took into consideration Crisp’s acknowledgement of his behaviour, his track record in the years since the content was produced and the public apology.
“Crisp has been ordered to undertake an appropriate education program and the AFL considers the matter to be finalised.”

Crisp later released this statement through his club.

“Last week I became aware that a video was being shared online containing private images which I had sent to another person in 2018,” Crisp said.
“I want to apologise for my actions and the impact they’ve had on my family and our club.
“Since that time, I have learnt a lot and grown as a person and I hope my family, those at Collingwood, and everyone connected to our club and the wider game, can see that growth. In saying that, I am still a work in progress and aim to continue to get better as a person.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have the support of Collingwood, my wife Mikayla and my daughters – while I am disappointed in myself for those actions, the impact this has had on my wife and my family hurts the most and I apologise to them for that.”

The 29-year-old was said to be deeply embarrassed when the images became public last week and was asked to speak with league officials upon his return from Queensland after a loss to the Brisbane Lions on Thursday night.

The Magpies started hot but conceded 10-straight goals in the second and third quarter on Thursday, eventually falling by 33 points to Brisbane at a sold-out Gabba.

Crisp kicked a fourth-quarter goal but was relatively quite in a 15-disposal performance that came a day after a historical video was circulated on social media with references to illicit drugs.

Jack Crisp runs.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The video shows a person scrolling through several screenshots of Snapchats, many clearly showing Crisp’s bearded face.

Several of the photos appear to show illicit substances.

The last two images are explicit and show a man standing, but his face is not visible.

“I wouldn’t have thought so,” McRae said when asked if the episode had an impact on their preparation. 

“We don’t make excuses for anything.

“Brisbane are really good, let’s face it. They’ve beaten Melbourne up here and everyone’s saying Melbourne are the team to beat and we’ve gone down as well.”

Crisp has played an extraordinary 191 consecutive AFL games – the most by a current player – dating back to round 18, 2014 when he was with the Lions.

“He’s like every player on our list, we love and support them and 100 per cent have got their back as people and humans,” McRae said.

“There’s lots of stuff that goes on with our players that I’m not always going to condone. 

“I’m a father and I don’t always condone the things my kids do, but at the end of the day we love and support them and that’s not going to change.”

Big names off to Tribunal

Superstar forwards Tom Lynch and Harry McKay will head to the AFL tribunal to plead their cases after their high hits on Alex Keath and Harry Sheezel respectively.

Richmond star Lynch faces at least a three-week ban for his bump that concussed Western Bulldog defender Keath while Carlton’s McKay will fight his one-match ban for striking North Melbourne starlet Sheezel.

McKay’s hearing will be held first on Tuesday evening, with Lynch’s case to follow.

Lynch’s crunching bump on Keath in the Tigers’ five-point loss on Saturday was ruled careless conduct, high contact and severe impact, triggering the tribunal hearing and a minimum three-game ban.

He’s expected to argue he was attacking the ball in a marking contest and had his eyes on the ball.

 (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Any suspension won’t impact Lynch, given he broke his foot in the loss and will require surgery.

No timeline has been set on Lynch’s return but he’s looking at a two-month minimum recovery time.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick argued post-game Lynch should have no case to answer as he had been attempting to mark the ball and bristled when told commentators had taken issue with the collision.

Former Hawthorn champion Jason Dunstall, who was calling the match, doubled down in his assessment Lynch was in trouble on Monday night.

“You can only be clumsy so often, and so deliberately clumsy so often,” the Fox Footy commentator said.

“He’ll be in trouble … because he doesn’t contest the ball.”

McKay, coming off a season-high four-goal haul against North Melbourne, will fight his striking charge in a bid to be free to face Adelaide on Thursday night.

The Blue’s hit on Sheezel on Friday was judged as careless, medium impact and high contact.

It’s been suggested the Blues might challenge the impact grading.

Match review findings from Easter Monday’s clash between Geelong and Hawthorn could feature a number of charges, including against Hawks ruck Lloyd Meek.

Meek kneed Geelong’s Mark Blicavs at a first-quarter ruck contest, with Cats coach Chris Scott saying post-game the “dangerous” action needs to be taken out of the game.

Former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon agreed and said Meek should be cited, adding he “hated” the kneeing motion.

Blicavs was taken from the field after hurting his ribs but returned to the game.

“You can’t just be stationary on the ground and chuck your knee up, there’s all sorts of organs there that are dangerous,” Lyon told Fox Footy.

“If this is a natural footy action we’re in all sorts of trouble.”

Geelong’s Gary Rohan and Hawthorn’s Will Day could be cited for sling tackles on Hawk Changkuoth Jiath and Cat Brad Close respectively.

Buddy sidelined

Superstar forward Lance Franklin will miss Sydney’s huge AFL clash with Richmond due to knee soreness as the Swans count the cost of their loss to Port Adelaide.

Franklin, 36, was injured late in Saturday’s heartbreaking two-point defeat to the Power and has not recovered in time to face the Tigers at Adelaide Oval on Friday.

Neither side will have their spearhead available with Richmond forward Tom Lynch (broken foot) injured and also facing suspension at the AFL tribunal.

“Lance completed the game against Port Adelaide but suffered a knock to the knee in the last quarter,” Swans medical boss Damian Raper told the club’s website.

“He has been unable to train this week due to his knee soreness and will not play against Richmond this weekend.”

Both McCartin brothers will miss due to their respective concussions.

Luckless defender Paddy, who had nine concussions when playing for St Kilda, was substituted out of Saturday’s game after a head knock that has again sparked concerns over his future.

Brother Tom, also a key defender, joined him on the sidelines with a concussion before halftime.

“Paddy is doing well in the early stages of his recovery,” Raper said.

“He still has some residual symptoms which are not unexpected. He will be monitored closely in accordance with the AFL’s HIA protocols.

“Tom is also doing well in his recovery but will miss the match against Richmond after entering the AFL’s HIA protocols. He will continue to be monitored closely.”

Forward Sam Reid has suffered a major setback in his recovery from a glute injury, dealing with hamstring tendon pain, and won’t return until after the mid-season bye.

Meanwhile Carlton defender Sam Docherty will undergo surgery to repair a torn knee meniscus and will be sidelined for between four and six weeks.

Docherty’s injury is a hefty blow to the unbeaten Blues given his impressive form off half-back.

“It’s no doubt disappointing for Sam to be sidelined for the coming weeks, given he picked up this season right where he left off last year, in great form,” Carlton football boss Brad Lloyd said.

“He’s the ultimate professional though, so once he completes surgery, he’ll launch into his rehab and do everything required to get back to play, which we expect to be in four to six weeks.”

Former co-captain Docherty missed all of the 2018 and 2019 seasons with back-to-back ACL tears.

Docherty was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November 2020 but recovered and played the first 14 games in 2021 before a recurrence in August that year required him to undergo chemotherapy.

Freo react to racism

Fremantle are the latest AFL club to condemn racist slurs aimed at players as Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks brands an abuser of Izak Rankine a coward.

Fremantle say Indigenous stars Michael Walters and Nathan Wilson have both been targets of online racial abuse.

The Dockers’ incidents come just a day after Adelaide’s star recruit Izak Rankine was racially abused on social media.

Fremantle chief executive officer Simon Garlick says his club is appalled by the racist and homophobic abuse of Walters and Wilson.

“This unnecessary and disgusting abuse should not happen and it saddens me, and everyone at our club, that it does,” Garlick said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Individuals that hide behind fake accounts to hurt others are pathetic and we need to be able to curb this capability on social platforms.

“I urge fans … call out racist and homophobic slurs for the abhorrent and archaic discourse that it is. It has no place in our game or in our community … enough is enough.”

The AFL’s integrity unit is investigating the abuse, along with the racial abuse of the Crows’ Rankine in what Nicks said was a deliberate attempt to be “divisive”.

The incidents come just weeks after Western Bulldogs forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was racially abused by a spectator and online.

Rankine was “holding up well” in the aftermath, Nicks told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s just a cowardly act.

“It’s just someone who is trying to hurt. I see it as not really a person as such, it’s someone sitting behind a keyboard.

“If someone is going to the trouble of covering up their identity, it’s not an actual account, it’s never been used – to me that’s a sign that we’re not actually dealing with a human being, we are dealing with someone who is just trying to be divisive.”

Rankine’s teammates and Crows staff have rallied around the goalsneak, who returned to South Australia this season after spending three years at Gold Coast.

Nicks said the 22-year-old was a certain starter against Carlton in Thursday night’s Adelaide Oval fixture.

“He has got 100 per cent support from everyone at the footy club,” Nicks said.

“That is the best we can do for him at the moment and maybe getting out and having a game of football might help him with that.

“Things like this can bind you, a group come together, and we were able to show our support.”

The AFL on Monday night condemned the racial abuse.

“There is no place in our game for anyone who vilifies our players,” an AFL statement said.

“We stand with the club in calling out the racist comments, comments that cause significant hurt and harm for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

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