Mitchell’s AFL jab-jibe enrages Hird

Hawthorn midfielder Sam Mitchell says his mock injection aimed at Essendon players won’t be repeated on an AFL field.

The Hawks’ 38-point win over the Bombers was soured in the last term when Mitchell made a jabbing gesture towards his arm as he addressed Bombers players.

It was another reminder of the sorry saga of Essendon’s 2012 supplements program just a day after disgraced sports scientist Stephen Dank was handed a lifetime ban from working in professional sport for his role in it.

After the match, the four-time Hawthorn best and fairest recognised as much and took to Fox Footy to express his regret.

“It’s probably not a good look for the game, so I shouldn’t have done it and it won’t happen again,” he said.

“I’ve got my kids at the game here watching and it’s not something that you want people seeing and talking about.”

Mitchell said Essendon players didn’t mention the incident to him after the game.

After enduring three years of trauma regarding the 2012 supplements regime, Bombers coach James Hird said taunts from players had no place in the game.

But he showed offered to leave it in the past.

“If he’s apologised for it, then we let it go,” he said.

“But if it’s something that’s still out there then it’s naive and idiotic for someone to do that.

“Its disappointing for our playing group to see that.”

Without seeing the incident, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson chose not to comment but said he would talk to Mitchell about it.

Mitchell may have been provoked by a hot build-up to the match, which included Hird’s claim he hated Hawthorn more than any other team.

Hird said his childhood left him no choice but to despise the Hawks.

“I watched Hawthorn beat Essendon in the 1983 grand final and I cried for three hours,” he said.

“I watched Dipper knock out Kevin Walsh in the 1984 grand final.

“I hated Hawthorn, i just hated them.

“Every time I played against Hawthorn I wanted to beat them because of the memories I had as a kid. It’s hatred used in the nicest, competitive terms.”

Hird said he “hadn’t had time” to process Dank’s punishment, handed down on Friday, choosing not to comment.

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