JIMMY BARTEL insists he did not dive for a free kick in Geelong's loss to Hawthorn on Saturday night. 

The contentious free kick was awarded to Bartel for a push against Matthew Suckling in the second quarter, Bartel went on to kick a goal.

Several commentators criticised Bartel after the incident, with Magpies premiership captain Tony Shaw saying he should be given a reprimand for staging, while ex-teammate Cameron Ling called it 'very un-Jimmy'. 

However, the Brownlow medalist has hit back at the "witch-hunt", saying his integrity has been unfairly questioned.

"I think it's a load of rubbish really to be honest," Bartel told SEN Radio.

"If you're running flat out for the ball and as you're jumping you've got someone who puts any sort of contact behind you you're going to go forward.

"I'm not sure what people wanted me to do, maybe flip my legs out and land on my back.

"I just put my hands down actually to brace myself for a fall, probably in hindsight I shouldn't do that, I should just fall on my back or something like that.

"I don't pay them, I just play, and everyone else has already made their decision about me and about that free kick.

"I can see it looks bad ... but I can only tell you how I was feeling at the moment."

The three-time premiership player said he had no problem with booing from fans at the time, but said the further commentary was "a bit disappointing."

"Probably the fact I kicked a goal out of it made everyone more upset, I can understand that," Bartel said. 

"The thing that bothered me was sort of the witch-hunt for the next four to five days with people saying I should be suspended and reprimanded.

"It sort of questions a bit of your integrity, the way you play the game, and I feel over my career I've played the game hard and fair and within the rules.

"At no stage was I thinking, 'free kick', it just so happened I got one.

"I don't pay the free kicks, I just play the game."