CARLTON chief executive Steven Trigg is bemused that Sydney Swan Lance Franklin got away with a one-match suspension for a head-high bump when Bryce Gibbs was rubbed out for two weeks for a "strong tackle"
Many football commentators thought Gibbs was harshly done when he was suspended for two weeks for a round 12 tackle that left Port Adelaide star Robbie Gray concussed.
Gibbs' tackle did not appear to involve two separate actions but it caused Gray's head to hit the ground, and the Match Review Panel ruled it constituted careless conduct with high impact to the head.
A week later, the MRP ruled that Franklin's round 13 bump was also careless but involved only medium contact to the head of Richmond midfielder Shane Edwards.
The fact Edwards was able to play out last Friday night's game after passing a concussion test would have been a factor in the MRP's determination.
"Without regurgitating, revisiting, re-prosecuting the whole thing, it is odd that a strong tackle gets more than the other charge, there's no doubt about that," Trigg said.
"I think the majority of football people would question that, I think that would be fair (to say).
"What we also understand though is that the outcome is the determinant and footballers today have to live with that and we have to live with that because it's the way the AFL have set it up.
"But it doesn't stop you from going, 'Yeah, it doesn't seem to quite line up'."
Asked whether it was fair that the outcome of a player's action should influence how the action itself was categorised, Trigg said he understood the reasons behind the MRP's policy.
"I put myself in the shoes of the AFL, I think you need to do that before firing a shot," Trigg said.
"How would one want to administer the games so that you don't get outcomes of serious head injuries? And it's a very difficult thing to do.
"So by putting the players in their entirety, 800-plus across the competition, on notice in terms of a duty of care I don't think you can argue with that.
"But it does create in this 360-degree game of ours some complexity about lining up penalties for those sorts of things.
"I'm not going to re-prosecute the thing with Bryce, but they're two long weeks for him, put it that way."