AFL greats Garry Lyon, Tim Watson and David King all believe that Hawthorn captain Ben Stratton’s pinching is not a good look for the game and warrants punishment.
Stratton was sent straight to the tribunal after pinching Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia repeatedly in the Hawks’ 19-point win over the Bombers on Friday night.
Although the Hawthorn skipper is ultimately to blame, Watson believes the umpires and Hawks coaches should’ve addressed this two weeks ago when he was pinching Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron.
“Why didn’t Al Clarkson, the coach of Hawthorn, I know there’s a lot of things that he has to do and deal with but this is his captain,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“Somebody at the football club must’ve seen it to alert him and said: ‘We should do something about this.’
“If I’m defending Stratton at the tribunal, I’ll say: ‘Well, hang on, how serious is this?
“Two weeks ago, they were playing the Brisbane Lions, the umpire stood there, he saw him pinching and he was laughing.
“The goal umpire’s standing right there, who has the ability to report, he’s standing there alongside Stratton and Fantasia and does nothing.
“So where’s the outrage coming from?”
King believes more than a suspension is required to stamp out Stratton’s behaviour.
“What I’d love to see happen is, and we don’t reckon we use this enough, I would say: ‘Listen, we’re going to give you two weeks for the stomp and the pinching. Serve them concurrently. You had a bad day, right,” he told SEN’s Whateley.
“The stomp and the continual pinching, it’s not what we want in our game.
“We’re going to put a three-week suspended sentence hanging over you for any contact unbecoming, any of this sort of nonsense going forward, so be on watch.
“Be advised that this it it.’”
Lyon is of the view that Stratton will be suspended because he’s pinched a player more than once.
“I wouldn’t be outraged (if he got suspended), a $5000 fine would (probably) suffice or whatever it is, $10,000, whatever the most you can find a player,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“But if he gets a week that wouldn’t outrage me because it’s repeated.
“It’s a repeated action that the player has no recourse for.”