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Oliver apologises as AFL probes fan incident

Oliver's banter with Blues fans Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver has an interesting exchange with the Carlton crowd
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Clayton Oliver of the Demons is tackled by Patrick Cripps of the Blues during the 2017 AFL round 16 match between the Carlton Blues and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 09, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Dees midfielder Clayton Oliver
I shouldn't have reacted the way that I did and I apologise for that
Clayton Oliver

MELBOURNE midfielder Clayton Oliver has apologised for a heated exchange with a Carlton fan during Sunday's eight-point win over the Blues at the MCG.

In a second-quarter incident, a Blues fan sitting in the front row at the MCG appeared to yell at Oliver as he followed the ball over the boundary line during the second quarter.

The Demon midfielder approached him and the pair had a brief verbal exchange.

Following the Demons' eight-point win over the Blues, Oliver spoke briefly to the media outside the club's training base at AAMI Park on Monday afternoon. 

"I shouldn't have reacted the way that I did and I apologise for that because I've taken some polish off the team's win," Oliver said.

"Moving forward I'll learn from this and it won't happen ever again."

The AFL released a statement late on Monday afternoon saying they were content with the actions taken by Oliver and the Melbourne Football Club to clear up the issue.

"It was the AFL's view that players should not engage with the crowd in such a manner at any time and the player had been counselled on this by the club following discussions with the AFL, and the club had apologised to the patron," the League said.

It is understood Oliver has conceded the Blues fan did not use a profanity in his comments to the player.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said Oliver had let his emotions get the better of him and that he had reacted in an unprofessional way.

"We have spoken to Clayton and the entire playing group regarding their interaction with the crowd and that no positives come out of any immediate response," Mahoney said.

"If the player feels that he was vilified in any way, there is a process to report that to the AFL and have it investigated.

"The disappointing nature of this incident is that it takes attention away from Clayton's performance and the win of the team."

Demons midfielder Jordan Lewis said Oliver needed to work on not letting critics get under his skin.

"You do get thick skin the longer you're in the game," he said on Monday.

"He's obviously early on in his career. He wouldn't have felt this for the first 18 years of his life.

"It is a whole new world that these young kids are entering and they have to understand it's not necessarily personal but they're trying to put us off our game.

"You can't react to Twitter or fans who try and provoke you at games, you've just got to move on."

Lewis said players had to accept that there were few limits on what fans could throw at them.

"I think anything racial, and anything like that is clearly out of bounds - other than that, they can say what they want," he said.

"It's part of the game. You just laugh it off."

Oliver was at the centre of another controversy two weeks ago when he was widely accused of staging after copping an elbow to the chin from West Coast defender Will Schofield.

Schofield was offered a one-game ban by the MRP for an early plea, but successfully appealed the striking charge at the AFL Tribunal.

Oliver was also involved in a Twitter spat with former Test cricketer Damien Martyn following the incident with Schofield.