AFL says Ginnivan initiated high contact

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The AFL says Collingwood's Jack Ginnivan should have been awarded a free kick after impact with Essendon's Mason Redman on Sunday, but they maintain the young Magpie initiated the contact.

Ginnivan was caught high by Redman during the first quarter of Sunday's thrilling win over Essendon but did not receive a whistle in his favour.

But while the AFL says the umpire initially made the right call, they should have penalised Redman after he continued to hold Ginnivan around the neck.

"Ginnivan is responsible for the initial high contact however (Mason) Redman then continues with the tackle in an unreasonable manner, holding Ginnivan around the neck," an AFL statement read.

"In this instance a free kick should have been awarded to Ginnivan.

"Overall the umpires did a terrific job of officiating the high tackle interpretation in all games over the weekend."

After correspondence with AFL football boss Brad Scott, Collingwood coach Craig McRae said he was satisfied with the situation moving forward.

"I'm really comfortable where it sits, that's a free kick for me and I said that (on Sunday)," he told Fox Sports.

"It's such a hard game to interpret ... the rule for me seems really simple, based on the interpretation of it, but then how do you adjudicate that?

"I just feel for the umpires, I wonder how we could take that stress away from them."

It came just days after the league moved to clarify its high contact rule, following fierce debate around whether Ginnivan was being umpired differently to other players.

The league had said players would not be given free kicks when they ducked or shrugged in tackles to create high contact.

Ginnivan was cited as one of three examples in the league's memo and has been an unwitting lightning rod this season for criticism of players who attempt to draw free kicks.

McRae admitted he was concerned what the notoriety would do to Ginnivan's mental health.

"I'm really, really conscious of this 19-year-old guy who's finding his way in the AFL and trying to protect him from himself at times," he told Fox Sports.

"But also from from the broader AFL community, he's 19 and he's gone from zero to 1000 in terms of fame, and that can be challenging."

Earlier on Monday, Collingwood legend Tony Shaw accused the AFL of persecuting Ginnivan and called his treatment "disgraceful".

"This issue won't go away even after a great game," the Magpies' 1990 premiership captain posted on Twitter.

"The AFL has persecuted a player on a whim and now has again opened up umpires to embarrassment due to this Ginnivan interpretation."

Richmond legend Matthew Richardson said the Ginnivan-Redman non-call was "outrageous", while former Magpies hero Mick McGuane said whistleblowers should "umpire the rules of the game, not the player".

Collingwood ruck-forward Mason Cox also weighed in, questioning the league's commitment to player welfare around head contact.

"Wild to think high tackles were put in the game to protect players' health and now are being blatantly ignored for a 19-year-old," Cox posted on Twitter.

"How can we think 'the AFL cares about concussions and head high contact' after this?"

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting