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Jimmy Webster's wife caught in awful development as AFL player hit with massive ban

The St Kilda player has been hit with the biggest suspension in the AFL since 2018.

Jimmy Webster has revealed his wife and child became targets on social media in the wake of his sickening hit on Jy Simpkin that earned him a seven-game ban. Webster fronted the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night and was hit with the biggest suspension the league has seen in six years.

The St Kilda player left his feet and collected Simpkin in the head with a ferocious bump during the Saints' pre-season clash with North Melbourne last weekend. Webster pleaded guilty on Tuesday night and threw himself at the mercy of the tribunal, who dished out a seven-game ban in a landmark ruling amid the AFL's crackdown on concussion issues.

Jimmy Webster and his wife.
Jimmy Webster's wife and child have been caught in an awful situation. Image: Instagram/Getty

The AFL argued for an eight-game ban, which St Kilda believed was "excessive and disproportionate in the circumstances". After deliberating for an hour, the tribunal panel decided Webster should miss seven games and he immediately accepted the sanction.

"I wish to reiterate my remorse and again apologise to Jy for my actions," Webster said after the hearing. "I will take this time on the sidelines to reflect on my actions and work hard to keep it out of my game."

During the tribunal, the St Kilda player revealed that his family copped abuse online throughout the week. “I’m happy to cop the backlash, but I’ve got a 16-month old and a wife at home. For them to cop it on social media, it’s obviously pretty shit,” he said.

Webster's siblings had reportedly made disparaging remarks on social media in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but his wife and child were completely blameless. One fan wrote on social media on Tuesday night: "Going at Jimmy, I understand...but going at his wife and children is not acceptable. Why on earth would anyone do this? Not good enough."

Jy Simpkin.
Jimmy Webster hit Jy Simpkin (pictured) with a shocking bump. (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Jimmy Webster hit with longest AFL suspension since 2018

Webster copped the same ban that Sydney star Barry Hall did when he punched and knocked out Brent Staker back in 2008. The seven-game suspension is the biggest in the AFL since Andrew Gaff was rubbed out for eight games for breaking Andrew Brayshaw's jaw with a behind-the-play punch in 2018.

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Webster's bump was graded by match review officer Michael Christian as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact. St Kilda's lawyer Adrian Anderson, who was formerly the AFL's football operations boss, noted that a careless charge had never resulted in more than a four-week ban.

AFL tribunal chairman Jeff Gleeson said Webster was "extremely careless", and said new guidelines in 2024 included a new provision. "The tribunal is not bound by any decision at the tribunal or MRO in a previous year and may reasonably exercise its discretion to impose a different classification or sanction that may have been imposed in previous years," Gleeson said when handing down the verdict.

"Having regard to, among other things, evolving community standards and an increased focus on reducing instances of avoidable, forceful high contact and preventing injuries, including concussions. There is no reason to assume that community standards evolve slowly or in a linear fashion.

"The need to avoid head-high impact and the need to minimise the risk of concussion has never been more acute. There is an urgency about the need to continue to do what is reasonably necessary to attempt to change what is admittedly rare instances of player behaviour."

with AAP

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