GEELONG coach Chris Scott says fans booing Gary Ablett should "search their conscience" before again jeering the champion midfielder, but brushed off its effect on the star Cat.
Richmond supporters booed the two-time Brownlow medallist early in Friday night's loss to Geelong, before the Cats ran away with a dominant 67-point win at the MCG.
Ablett, 35, was relentlessly booed earlier in the season when the Cats took on Hawthorn, but Scott said the crowd reaction had little bearing on the two-time premiership player.
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"It's not a concern to me and, much more importantly, it's not a concern to Gary," he said post-game.
"I had a conversation with some of our guys before and I think it's a little misunderstood how difficult life as an AFL player is at times. Clearly there are some rewards as well and most of the guys love what they do.
"But if you looked at the hierarchy of the difficulties of being an AFL footballer – getting booed by opposition supporters is towards the bottom. It doesn't worry them at all.
"I think it's a question where, if it'd be possible, would be better directed at those supporters. They're the ones who have to search their conscience."
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Booing has been a consistent talking point in the AFL, with Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley calling out Essendon fans for jeering Scott Pendlebury after the Anzac Day clash in round six.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan earlier in the year described booing as "a chink in the armour of our game", but didn't go as far as telling fans not to boo.
Ablett had 24 disposals and kicked two goals against the Tigers, and Scott was quick to distance the booing from the situation that faced former Swan Adam Goodes.
"I don't think it hurts him. Honestly, I don't want to overplay it. I don't think it's an issue. It's completely separate to the Adam Goodes situation which is a stain on our football history," Scott said.
"The people who are doing it, maybe they should pause a little bit and think 'Everyone makes mistakes in life, do we really want to make the same mistakes over again?'"
Ablett was a key player in Geelong's commanding win over Richmond, as they piled on 15 goals in the second and third quarters to the Tigers' solitary major in the same period.
The only concern the Cats have heading in to next week's bye lies with key forward Esava Ratugolea, who nursed a sore hamstring in the second half.
"We think he's OK. It was very precautionary. The game wasn't at a stage where we needed to talk about taking a risk, so once he was being assessed for a soft-tissue issue that was it for him," Scott said.
"The feedback seems to be it's very likely he'll be available for our next game."
The Cats are keen to break a poor run of results when they face Port Adelaide in round 14, having lose their past seven games following a mid-season bye. They have also lost two out of three of their first finals in the past three years following the round 23 byes.