Posted: 14 September, 2016
by Jason Dunstall
It Would Be Sad If AFL Outlawed Sledging
'That would be sad if players can’t express themselves or can’t let out frustrations and can’t do anything along those lines.'
It’s a dangerous situation, isn’t it.
It’s a very, very blurry line between sledging and bullying and I don’t know where the lines are.
I was never a sledger myself because I was too worried about trying to get my energy back to concentrate on footy but it’s become a big part of the game and a lot of players are good at it.
Sometimes it’s humorous, sometimes it transgresses and goes far too far so I have no answers for that.
If you look at the game of rugby union, which is essentially a private school game that has grown from very sound footings, you don’t backchat referees.
You don’t get in big slanging matches either because if there’s any language that’s inappropriate, you get pinged straight away and things happen.
I wonder if that’s where ultimately our game will head and that would be sad if players can’t express themselves or can’t let out frustrations and can’t do anything along those lines, but it does suit the game of rugby very, very well. It is extremely disciplined in that respect.
The problem is if you start sledging and something can start out entertaining but as soon as one guy wins, the other bloke out of desperation reaches for something that he thinks can get this bloke back and that’s often where you’ll blurt out something that you haven’t even thought about.
(Transcribed from Triple M’s Rush Hour, September 14, 2016)
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