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Mason Cox under investigation by AFL over incident with Shane Mumford and GWS players

The Collingwood ruckman has drawn the ire of the AFL and a number of players and pundits.

The AFL has issued a 'please explain' to Collingwood and is investigating the incident between Mason Cox and GWS players before the Magpies' clash with the Giants on Saturday night. Cox was seen bumping into GWS assistant coach Shane Mumford in an apparent prank as the Giants went through a ball-up drill, grabbing the ball out of the air and running off.

Mumford, who retired in 2021, and a number of GWS players including Stephen Coniglio, looked miffed by Cox's actions. The American ruckman drew the ire of the AFL world for the pre-game stunt, especially in light of the fact he had an underwhelming performance once the match got underway.

But the bizarre incident took another twist on Sunday evening when the AFL launched an investigation into Cox's actions and confirmed it will ask Collingwood to explain what was going on. The AFL's action comes despite no-one at GWS complaining about Cox or the incident.

Mason Cox, pictured here before the Collingwood and GWS clash in the AFL.
Mason Cox bumped into Shane Mumford in bizarre scenes before the Collingwood and GWS clash in the AFL. Image: Getty/Channel 7

Mason Cox and GWS continue spicy AFL rivalry

Cox was already public enemy No.1 at the Giants after describing their home ground as "a showground for livestock". That comment was in relation to the AFL's move to play 'Opening Round' in Sydney and Brisbane over the weekend, rather than the tradition of starting the season in Melbourne.

Cox pointed out that the NRL kicked off their season amid much fanfare in Las Vegas, but the reigning premiers Collingwood were forced to play at Sydney Olympic Park. Speaking on Sunday, GWS player Brent Daniels said: "Mason likes to say things that get a bit of a headline. He likes the limelight, but what he did before the game I thought was really bizarre. A bit of carry on.

"I'd like to think we're really humble and hungry as a team. To see that wasn't a good look. If you're going to do that you'd want to back it up on the field.

"His comments grab media and that's what he wants. We know we're a small base but we love our Giants fans and last night was really special. 'Mummy' (Mumford) doesn't usually hold back so luckily he did this time."

Mason Cox (centre) looks on after Collingwood's loss to GWS.
Mason Cox (centre) looks on after Collingwood's loss to GWS. (Getty Images)

Mason Cox cops backlash over pre-game incident against GWS

Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes also savaged Cox considering he failed to walk the walk. "Yeah, I thought he embarrassed himself, a little bit," Cornes said on the Sunday Footy Show. "When you don't touch the football for a half and you were a liability out there, you do look a little bit foolish."

Cox had just five disposals, two kicks and three handballs as GWS thrashed Collingwood 18.6 (114) to 11.16 (82). In a since-deleted Instagram post on Sunday, Cox said there had been "lots of false commentary" surrounding the incident, adding: "Will explain what actually happened on this week's podcast."

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Collingwood coach Craig McRae said he didn't mind Cox spicing up a rivalry with a bit of banter before the game. “I like the banter of footy. I like the build-up. If it means a sell-out crowd, how good,” he said.

“I didn’t get caught up in the circus stuff around the edges of it, nor should I, I’m here to coach the team and we didn’t get the job done. The circus stuff around the edges doesn’t influence us. We’re here to entertain, but entertain by winning stoppages, connecting inside 50 and playing our style. But we didn’t do that. I’m OK with a little bit of banter.”

with AAP

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