Jordan Lewis has given Hawthorn teammate Sam Mitchell a backhander for his Bombers jab-jibe, an action that could land the veteran an AFL sanction.
Mitchell made a mock injecting gesture aimed at Essendon players in Hawthorn’s 38-point win, a clear reference to the club’s 2012 supplements scandal.
The incident could yet land Mitchell a fine or suspended fine for bringing the game into disrepute.
James Hird called the action “naive and idiotic” after the match, and he wasn’t the only person lining up to take a swipe at Mitchell.
Lewis suggested he was annoyed the attention from Hawthorn’s fourth-straight win had centred on Mitchell, who at least apologised.
“I think its unfortunate we’re talking about that rather than a pretty good win,” he told the Sunday Footy Show.
“There’s always going to be people for and against.
“He’s come out and I think he’s done the right thing and apologised.”
Essendon tall Jake Carlisle put himself firmly in the ‘no’ camp when asked about it on Sunday morning.
The gifted swingman, who was in a moonboot with a previously undisclosed ankle injury at the club’s training base, said some banter was fine but this crossed the line.
“It’s alright pointing at the scoreboard,” he told AFL Game Day.
“It’s a game of footy, you’re not there to do stuff like that.”
Mitchell gave an interview with Fox Footy after the game when he expressed his regret, saying it was a bad look for the game.
Lewis did support his fellow premiership midfielder, saying incidents like these came when you played at the very highest intensity.
“If you want to play AFL at this level sometimes you step over the line,” he said.
“You don’t go out deliberately to get reported or physically target players but sometimes it just happens in the heat of the battle.
“Sometimes you can’t control yourself out there.
“We play close to the edge, I think a lot of the really good sides play close to the edge.
“Sometimes you have that momentary lapse … and it gets caught on camera.”
Hawthorn improved their win-loss to 8-4 with the victory, while Essendon’s fourth straight loss took them to 4-8.