Veteran AFL reporter Damian Barrett has backed the league’s decision to stand down Mitch Cleary after the reporter published details of Trent Cotchin’s wife’s day spa trip.
Cleary broke his silence on Monday when he claimed he “wasn’t across something” when he published details of Brooke Cotchin’s trip on social media with the league asking him to remove the post.
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Richmond Tigers were fined $45,000 over Brooke Cotchin’s incident.
Despite the club being fined, Brooke Cotchin spoke out in support of journalist Cleary and sent support his way.
But speaking on his podcast, Barrett said the AFL made the ‘right decision’ with Cleary.
“It was the right decision for an organisation to reflect upon what he did,” he said on The Sounding Board.
“He didn’t get stood down. He was looked at over the action of the tweet .. and any organisation has the right to do what it wants to do and sees fit.
“Mitch obviously tweeted or retweeted or reposted an already public photo … in a time frame in which he shouldn’t have.”
Barrett also took aim at media organisations for claiming the AFL Media was independent, questioning whether any media organisation was ‘independent’.
“Has it ever been independent? Has any organisation ever been independent?” Barrett added.
Brooke Cotchin speaks out after AFL fine
Brooke Cotchin took to Instagram for the first time since her day spa fine, acknowledging her mistake and admitting posting on Instagram would open her up to criticism.
She offered an apology in her post, and said she and Trent had agreed to pay the fine on Richmond’s behalf.
“I wish to apologise for the mistake I have made and I am deeply sorry for any angst that I have created for anyone.
“It was an honest mistake and one that I am incredibly remorseful for.
“I am the first to admit I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes, this being one that I need to own and learn from.
“I thank you all for your comments and private messages, good and bad. I have read every single one of them.
“We have not publicised that we are paying the fine, as we did not think it was necessary.
“I am hoping that this post helps explain things and puts a few minds at peace knowing that this was my mistake, which I accept total responsibility for.”