Carlton chief executive Steven Trigg admits he finds it odd that Bryce Gibbs is serving a two-match AFL suspension, while Lance Franklin only copped a week for his head-high bump.
Gibbs was hit with a three-match ban that came down to two with an early guilty plea after his tackle on Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray was deemed rough conduct.
The AFL match review panel’s assessment of that incident divided opinion, with that debate re-opened after Franklin’s crude hip and shoulder on Richmond’s Shane Edwards was deemed to be worthy of missing only one match with an early plea.
“Without regurgitating, revisiting, re-prosecuting the whole thing, it is odd that a strong tackle gets more than the other charge – there’s no doubt about that,” Trigg said on Tuesday.
“I think the majority of football people would question that – I think that would be (fair to say).
“What we also understand though is that the outcome is the determinant – footballers today have to live with that and we have to live with that because it’s the way the AFL have set it up.
“But it doesn’t stop you from going ‘yeah, it doesn’t seem to quite line up’.”
Gray was dazed when his head hit the MCG turf in the Gibbs tackle and was substituted from the game, while Edwards was able to return to the field after undergoing a concussion assessment.
When asked if he felt the different assessments were fair, Trigg was diplomatic.
“I put myself in the shoes of the AFL – I think you need to do that before firing a shot,” he said.
“How would one want to administer the game so that you don’t get outcomes of serious head injuries? It’s a very difficult thing to do.
“So by putting the players in their entirety, 800-plus across the competition, on notice in terms of a duty of care, I don’t think you can argue with that.
“But it does create in this 360-degree game of ours some complexity about lining up penalties for those sorts of things.
“I’m not going to re-prosecute the thing with Bryce, but they’re two long weeks for him, put it that way.”