North Melbourne are angry at Lindsay Thomas’ one-game AFL suspension, with teammate Drew Petrie calling it trial by media.
Thomas will miss Petrie’s 300th game on Sunday against St Kilda after accepting his ban for rough conduct.
The Kangaroos small forward would have risked a two-game ban had he challenged the charge at the tribunal.
The Western Bulldogs were seething after Thomas collected Lachie Hunter with a coathanger in the final quarter last Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
Bulldogs remonstrated with Thomas immediately after the incident and Hunter’s teammate Marcus Bontempelli said there was “quite a bit of malice in it”, referring to the high hit.
It also emerged that Hunter went to hospital as a result of the blow.
But Petrie was unimpressed, saying no further action was necessary other than what happened during the match.
“It’s a good question … I feel as though the decision handed down, there’s been a bit of trial by media with this one,” he said when asked about Thomas’ suspension.
“On the night, it looked a high tackle, it was given a free kick and it was dealt with there and then.
“I thought ‘Ok, that’s all there is to do with that’ – I didn’t think it would get this far.
“I feel the way it’s been reported gave it a bit of momentum.”
Petrie was then asked about Bontempelli’s criticism of Thomas.
“I’ve seen snippets of what was said, but you guys then have to go and print it,” he said.
“He said what he said, but if you guys then don’t blow it up, then no-one really listens to it.”
The tribunal will not sit on Tuesday night, with Adelaide’s Kyle Hartigan (rough conduct) and Brisbane’s Tom Bell (striking) accepting $1,000 fines.