With all eyes on the behaviour of AFL officials, family members, club staff and players in the various league hubs in Queensland, the news that two Richmond players – Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones – significantly breached the COVID-19 protocols late last week was a massive jolt for the AFL.
It’s a hot topic of discussion for our AFL Real Footy podcasters this week – Jake Niall, Caroline Wilson and Michael Gleeson – who examine some of the big questions for the Tigers, including whether a flag this year would be tainted and whether the careers of those two players could even come to end.
For chief AFL writer Niall, the blemish puts Richmond’s so-called ‘Richmond exceptionalism’ in the spotlight.
“I think we have a slightly naïve assumption in media – we talk about culture of clubs,” Niall says. “And we equate winning with being good citizens.