ESSENDON is prepared to let Sam Mitchell's provocative injecting gesture slide after the Hawthorn veteran's public apology, but Dons coach James Hird has described such actions as "naive and idiotic".
The incident occurred at three-quarter time during the Hawks' 38-point victory over Essendon on Saturday.
As Mitchell was heading to the centre, he motioned as if he was injecting himself in his upper arm, directing his gesture at a group of Essendon players including Michael Hibberd and Cale Hooker in a blatant taunt at the club's ongoing anti-doping case.
Mitchell apologised after the match in a Fox Footy interview.
“I copped a bit of an elbow before the play had even started and … I wasn’t ready for it, so I said something that doesn’t need to be said," the veteran Hawk said.
"It probably isn’t a good look for the game, so I shouldn’t have done it and it won’t happen again.
“It was probably inappropriate, it’s not in good taste, it’s not something you want to see … I shouldn’t have done it.
“If I could have my time again I wouldn’t have done it.”
Hird told reporters after the match he had not seen footage of the incident but had heard about it, saying it could be a sign that people still believed media "propaganda" surrounding the club's controversial 2011-12 supplements program.
"I think if he's apologised for it then we'll let it go, but if it's something that's still out there I think it's naive and idiotic really for someone to do that, if he has done it," Hird said.
"But if he's apologised then I think we let it go. It's disappointing for our playing group that that's still happening but perhaps the propaganda that's been around about what's happened at our club maybe people have believed it.
"Maybe it's not Sam's issue, it's all the propaganda, but I would hope that he would apologise to our player and we'd move on.
"All the media propaganda about what happened at our football club over a two- or three-year period [has] certainly damaged a lot of our people and our players.
"Talking to Michael (Hibberd), he says well it is what it is, but I think it's disappointing."
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said after the game he had not seen the incident but would address it with Mitchell.
"I think Mitch has addressed it after the game, so I don't know what he said and I'd probably prefer not to comment until I've spoken to Mitch about it because I haven't seen it and I don't know what Mitch's response has been to it
"So I'll just let it die until I've spoken to him."