Sport AFL ABC commentator cleared

ABC commentator cleared

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Carlton midfielder Brock McLean has been cleared over an incident on Saturday that commentator Mark Maclure said was the product of the “single mums’ rule”. And Maclure has been given the all clear over his remark.

The ABC commentary team was highly critical of the free kick paid against McLean, who tackled Essendon’s Brendon Goddard in a way that the umpire at the time described as “way too forceful”.

The commentators said that a free kick should be paid only if there was a violation of the rules, not because of the force of a tackle. They said the game was being over-sanitised.

Maclure, a former Carlton premiership player, praised the tackle and said football was a game of intimidation. He said paying the free kick was a case of the “single mums’ rule”.

The manager of ABC Grandstand, Craig Norenbergs, investigated the remark on Monday, and said that Maclure had meant to refer to the “soccer mums’ rule”, reflecting the concern for player safety expressed by mothers of children who play sport.

“If I thought he actually meant single mum, I’d take it a bit further, but it was a slip of the tongue,” he said.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane tweeted that McLean was cleared after the AFL received a medical report from Essendon and found there was no forceful high contact on Goddard.

The Sunday Age reported at the weekend that a “blokey culture” was impeding women working in the AFL. This was the finding of a report that was a joint initiative of the AFL, the Australian Sports Commission and Richmond.

Meanwhile, Melbourne key forward Chris Dawes is set to miss the opening game of next year’s AFL season because of a striking charge.

The match review panel booked Dawes for striking North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow during Saturday’s season-ending loss.

Dawes has carryover points and that means he will receive a one-match ban even if he does not challenge the charge.

The only way the Demons big man could escape suspension is a successful visit to the tribunal.

The match review panel had a busy day, handing out 29 charges, but none affect week one of the finals series.

Hawthorn defender Grant Birchall was fined for negligent umpire contact.

Adelaide backman Ben Rutten will not be too worried about a potential reprimand for a striking charge, given Sunday’s win over St Kilda was his retirement game.

Most of the charges were for wrestling or melee involvement.

The panel fined 11 Western Bulldogs players and nine Greater Western Sydney opponents for their melee in the third term of Sunday’s Etihad Stadium clash.

They included Bulldogs veteran Daniel Giansiracusa, who ended his career with a six-point loss to the Giants. With AAP