GREATER Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford has apologised to Lance Franklin for his controversial sledge in Saturday's qualifying final against the Sydney Swans.
During the spiteful clash Mumford used words to the effect of: "It's good to see you're not on holidays this year". The GWS ruckman was referencing Franklin's decision to skip last year's finals series to deal with ongoing mental health issues.
Mumford told gwsgiants.com.au he had spoken to Franklin over the phone.
"I gave Lance (Franklin) a call in relation to my comments on the weekend, to apologise if I've stepped over the line," he said.
"Obviously with mental health being such a serious issue, (it was) really not a good choice of words.
"But he's taken my apology on board and (is) happy to move forward from where we are now, and focus on our relevant games in the coming weeks."
Franklin's teammate Dan Hannebery said earlier on Tuesday that he believed mental health was a no-go zone for sledging.
"I've spoken with 'Buddy' (Lance Franklin) and he doesn't want to take it any further, he wants it done with," Hannebery said.
"It hasn't really been spoken much amongst the playing group, but I wouldn't go there (as a sledge).
"I'm not going to go into whether he (Shane Mumford) crossed the line or didn't cross the line, (but) it's not something I believe is the right thing to do.
"[Mental health] is a serious issue, and it's something as a footy club and in the AFL that we want to encourage people to speak up and get help, especially when someone shows the courage and speaks up about his issue."
The Giants have spoken to the Swans and both clubs have agreed to move on from the incident, meaning Mumford will escape punishment.
Shane Mumford and Lance Franklin come together in the qualifying final. Picture: AFL Photos
The AFL was kept abreast of the issue as it unfolded on Tuesday and is pleased with the outcome, an AFL spokesperson said.
Mumford, who won a premiership with the Swans in 2012, was involved in a mid-match scuffle with Franklin on Saturday.
Giants co-captain Phil Davis said on SEN radio on Tuesday there had been a lot of sledging during the game, but he had not heard Mumford's alleged words.
After an ill-tempered ANZ Stadium clash, Giants forward Steve Johnson accepted a one-match suspension for a high hit on Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy and will miss the preliminary final.
The Swans star left the field immediately but later returned, and the AFL has since asked the Swans to explain the process club officials went through to assess Kennedy for concussion.
Mumford also came under Match Review Panel attention for a tackle that saw Swans ruckman Kurt Tippett's head strike the turf, but he was cleared of an illegal sling action.
Tippett finished the match with a hairline fracture to the jaw, but the MRP said it occurred in an earlier ruck contest and was not related to Mumford's tackle.