AFL boss speaks out as new details emerge about Dustin Martin video

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Gillon McLachlan and Dustin Martin, pictured here in the AFL.
Gillon McLachlan has spoken out about the Dustin Martin video furore. Image: Getty

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has declared a leaked video of Dustin Martin appearing to grab a topless woman's breast a 'poor look'.

Footage of Martin appearing to grope the woman from behind emerged on social media on Wednesday, just 24 hours before the Richmond star returned from injury in Thursday night's elimination final against Brisbane.

'WHAT A JOKE': AFL world in uproar over 'disgraceful' finals drama

'MASSIVE COUP': Gary Ablett comeback news leaves AFL world in frenzy

In the video the woman is sitting on the lap of another man, before Martin appears to reach around and touch the woman to laughter of others at the bar.

An AFL spokesperson confirmed to AAP on Thursday that the league was aware of the video and would be seeking "further information".

"At first pass, the video, it's a poor look," McLachlan told the Seven Network at Melbourne Airport on Thursday.

“Respect for women is paramount generally, as a statement it’s clear across the AFL and unambiguous.

"I don't have any further information this morning about Dustin's relationship to the woman, her views, circumstances, the facts.

"It's with our integrity guys and they'll follow up at the right time, and I'm sure they'll try and speak to everyone involved."

According to The Age, Richmond officials believe the video was taken in 2015.

The incident reportedly occurred at the Sporting Globe Hotel in Melbourne.

Dustin Martin, pictured here appearing to grab the woman's breast.
The video appears to show Dustin Martin grab the woman's breast. Image: Supplied

Richmond senior advisor Neil Balme downplayed the incident and said there was never any chance that Martin would miss the elimination final on Thursday night, which Brisbane won by three points.

"I don't think we took it that seriously but we'll see what happens," he told Channel 10.

"It seemed a long time ago what you're talking about.

"We're pretty good at focusing on what needs to be focused on and the games the only thing that's important to us."

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick wasn't aware of the footage when asked on Wednesday, but addressed the incident after Thursday night's loss.

"Of course, we worry about the welfare of our players," he said when asked how it had impacted Martin, who had 15 disposals and a goal on his return from a hamstring injury.

"But he manages to control that and gets on with it.

"It's something I really can't comment on ... we'll work our way through that over the next week."

Dustin Martin, pictured here after Richmond's elimination final loss to Brisbane.
Dustin Martin (centre) looks on after Richmond's elimination final loss to Brisbane. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Dustin Martin video 'deliberately leaked' before finals

According to Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph, the video was 'deliberately leaked' on the eve of the finals to damage Martin and Richmond.

“Those front page headlines, clearly a significant distraction for the Tigers today, they had to work through that,” Ralph said on Fox Footy.

“The context is relevant - so a video of Dustin Martin touching the breast of a stripper at a player arranged function believed to be at the 2015 finals campaign or after it.

“A private room at the Sporting Globe Hotel in Melbourne, a video released by a Twitter handle that was created specially to damage Martin on the eve of the finals.

“And yet clearly it is a breach of the respect and responsibility policy. I understand the AFL will interview Martin in the coming days. Richmond told Martin today, ‘just concentrate on the game, we’ll work through those issues in the subsequent days.’

“I think the Jordan De Goey situation of only months ago is instructive and is clearly relevant here. It saw him (De Goey) handed a $25,000 suspended fine, but certainly not suspended for any games, able to play the next week if he apologised.

“I think we all expect that that would probably be adequate, and then of course, having dealt with it appropriately, the AFL and Richmond would be able to move on.”

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.