Port Adelaide say a three-game ban imposed on midfielder Andrew Moore for making contact with an umpire is heavy and lacks common sense.
Moore was suspended for three games by the SANFL tribunal after pleading guilty to intentionally making contact with an umpire in a state league match last weekend.
Port on Wednesday lodged an appeal to the verdict on behalf of the 23-year-old, who had been in line for an AFL recall this weekend.
“He was surprised. He didn’t feel as if it was an offence of that magnitude,” Port chief executive Keith Thomas told reporters on Wednesday.
“When we saw the incident, we just thought that it was rather innocuous.
“It was certainly something that we prefer Andy not to do, clearly. And it’s a message that we have got to send that you can’t touch umpires.
“But we would simply argue there has to be some consideration given to the level of impact and the intention of the action.”
At the quarter-time break, Moore put a hand on the umpire’s chest and slightly pushed him as they were discussing an earlier incident.
Moore was suspended despite the umpire, Craig Fleer, telling the tribunal the contact was so minimal he wasn’t aware of it at the time.
“The umpire’s account of it was quite telling, where he spoke of feeling as if he was in a conversation, not being intimidated at all by it, and thought Andrew was simply being demonstrative,” Thomas said.
“Three games is a really big penalty.
“I’d like to think common sense can come into these decisions.
“My personal view was that it was a fine and a very strong statement to players that this is not acceptable, I thought the outer range was a game, but clearly I’m not on the tribunal.
“He was being expressive and he made an error but I don’t think it was any more than that.”
Moore’s appeal will be heard on Thursday.