AFL PLAYERS' Association president Patrick Dangerfield says players have to improve their on-field treatment of umpires as debate rages over whether Toby Greene's three-match ban for intentional contact with a whistle-blower is harsh enough.
GWS star Greene was suspended for what the Tribunal determined was an "aggressive, demonstrative and disrespectful" interaction with experienced umpire Matt Stevic during an elimination final last Saturday.
It means Greene will sit out the rest of the finals series, with the Giants opting not to appeal the sanction.
However, the AFL is considering appealing the Tribunal's decision on the basis that it was not a strong enough penalty to discourage players at elite and community levels of the game from acting in a similar fashion.
Greene's suspension begins with Friday night's sudden-death semi-final against Dangerfield's Geelong at Optus Stadium.
"You can say (three matches) is lenient, but at this time of year you can argue it's quite significant," Dangerfield told SEN radio on Wednesday.
"We have to be mindful, and I'll keep coming back to this, that we have a role to play in the community. It's difficult sometimes, under the heat."
Dangerfield said players could "definitely improve" when it comes to respect and responsibility towards umpires.
"It's a fine line," Dangerfield said. "I'm as guilty as anyone around the off-hand comment, but they're such an important part of our game ... We have to be better with how we treat them."
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan on Tuesday welcomed the Tribunal's verdict that Greene brushing shoulders with Stevic constituted intentional conduct.
However, McLachlan flagged a possible appeal by the league, which called for Greene to be hit with a six-match suspension during the tribunal hearing.
A decision on the AFL's appeal is expected on Wednesday.