North Melbourne coach Brad Scott believes Lindsay Thomas is still paying for the sins of his past after he copped a one-match AFL ban this week.
Thomas will miss the unbeaten Kangaroos’ clash with St Kilda on Sunday after he accepted a one-game suspension for a coathanger tackle on Western Bulldogs midfielder Lachie Hunter during North’s 16-point win.
The Dogs were none-too-thrilled with the crude hit, youngster Marcus Bontempelli saying as much in a television interview on Saturday.
North veteran Drew Petrie leapt to his teammate’s defence when he asserted that Thomas had been subjected to a trial by media.
Scott was a little more diplomatic on the role of the media on Thursday but added Thomas’ history, that includes brushes with the AFL tribunal and accusations of staging for free kicks, continues to unfairly haunt him.
“There’s no doubt that Lindsay Thomas is paying for sins of the past,” Scott said.
“Did we consider challenging the decision? Yes, we did. We felt it was a tackle gone wrong, correctly paid as a free kick.
“The umpire clearly thought it wasn’t reportable. The (AFL match review panel) did, but we’re pretty clear of the view that if we challenged it we would have lost because it was Lindsay Thomas.
“So that’s what Lindsay’s got to deal with.”
Scott will continue to be a staunch supporter of Thomas, who he said could barely look people in the eyes when he first came to the club but has worked hard to become an indigenous program leader.
“He’s made a significant transformation but people have got long memories,” Scott said.
“Lindsay understands that … he’s paying for some sins of the past and probably will continue to in the future but we’ll just focus on his present.
“He is an outstanding ambassador for our club.”