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The AFL journalist who was stood down after publishing details of Trent Cotchin’s wife’s day spa trip has broken his silence over the incident.
Earlier on Monday, Brooke Cotchin spoke out in support of journalist Mitch Cleary, who was stood down by the AFL, after it was revealed that he published details of her trip on social media with the league also asking him to remove the post identifying Cotchin.
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But Brooke apologised for her mistake, costing the club a fine, and also wrote on Instagram in support of Cleary.
Now Cleary has broke his silence and said he ‘acknowledged’ his mistake in tweeting the day spa details.
“I wasn’t across something I should’ve been. I should’ve asked more questions at the time of posting it,” Cleary said on ABC Grandstand.
“We made the call as a website not to name Brooke and Trent, and I’m only naming them now ... (because) Brooke’s put out an Instagram post and Brendon Gale, the chief executive of the Richmond footy club, has since named Trent and said they’ll pay the $20,000 fine himself.
“There was something going on behind the scenes that I wasn’t aware of and I should’ve made calls and put myself in a position to know that.”
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The AFL released a statement claiming the issue had been resolved with Cleary.
“The AFL has today concluded an internal matter regarding a member of the AFL Media team, Mitch Cleary.
“Last week, AFL Media (afl.com.au) made an editorial decision to not name any family members relating to the recent club breaches of the Return to Play protocols.
“The reasoning behind this decision was to protect the wellbeing of all individuals involved, a message that was reiterated in the official AFL Media Statement on Friday afternoon (31 July).
“Mitch mistakenly did not follow his department’s editorial decision and named a family member on his own personal twitter channel on Friday evening.
“Upon speaking to his Editor and then realising his tweet was at odds with AFL Media’s editorial decision, Mitch immediately removed his tweet and has acknowledged it was a mistake on his behalf.
“The matter has now been resolved internally with Mitch today co-hosting the weekly show AFL Exchange on afl.com.au.”