Veteran AFL commentator Mark Robinson has blown up over the ‘idiotic’ breach of coronavirus rules by Port Adelaide duo Peter Ladhams and Dan Houston.
Ladhams was suspended for three games and Houston two, while Port Adelaide were fined $50,000 by the AFL after the two players hosted a gathering at home with several friends from outside the AFL hub.
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Half of the club’s fine is suspended, but that didn’t stop Robinson from suggesting the pair’s actions could have ‘brought down their club’ when discussing the matter on AFL 360.
“Idiotic. (Richmond coach Damien Hardwick) reckons the world piled on Tom Lynch, but what could we say about those two players? We could just put a tip truck of bricks on them,” Robinson said.
“They’ve put in jeopardy the competition. They deliberately did it. They knew they were doing the wrong thing.”
Robinson was further incensed when he compared the weeks-long bans to the season-long sanction Sydney Swans rookie Elijah Taylor was given for attempting to sneak his girlfriend into the team’s quarantine hotel - which was against both state government regulations as well as the AFL’s own rules.
The veteran journalist said it was time for the AFL to get much tougher on any player caught breaking the rules.
“And I find it difficult to sit here and say, well, Elijah broke government rules, so that allowed him the rest of the season (suspended). That was the excuse.
“If the AFL is fair dinkum, and stop pounding the table and saying ‘this is another reminder’, no more reminders! We’ve already said this. Put them out.
Port Adelaide are filthy at Peter Ladhams and Dan Houston.— Oliver Caffrey (@ollycaffrey) August 20, 2020
"It’s wasted a whole heap of people's time, resources that should be going into other areas in order to keep the game going, rather than having to make punitive measures for idiotic behaviour."https://t.co/PxvEQBm5KG
“They’ve deliberately broken - don't worry about government rules. The AFL runs the AFL. And they appease the government by putting him out.
“They should’ve put them out for the rest of the season. They should’ve.”
Port Adelaide pair in hot water over virus breach
Ladhams and Houston will return to the club's Alberton headquarters for training on Friday, but Power football manager Chris Davies warned the pair will need to work hard to earn respect back from the group.
"Pete Ladhams is in a situation where he's just got into the team. If he wants to have a professional career as a footballer, he'll need to act far better than he is now, as will Dan," he told reporters on Thursday.
Port found out on Wednesday about the gathering at Ladhams' home before immediately notifying the AFL.
"It's wasted a whole heap of people's time, resources that should be going into other areas in order to keep the game going, rather than having to make punitive measures for idiotic behaviour," Davies said.
Ladhams and Houston are both remorseful for their actions.
"I'm very embarrassed to put the club and my teammates in this position. There was no excuse for my complacency and I fully accept the sanction handed down by the AFL," Ladhams said.
It is the Power's second coronavirus misdemeanour since the season resumption in June, with star midfielder Ollie Wines handed a one-game suspension after inviting a TV news crew into his home for an interview.