News Richmond cheer squad being surveilled by undercover AFL spotters after umpire abuse

GoTigers2015

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 27, 2014
10,330
57,166
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Mitchelton-Scott
https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-2019-richmond-cheer-squad-being-surveilled-by-undercover-afl-spotters-after-umpire-abuse/news-story/96119f6942aabcc43870c12d03f238e4

The AFL is keen to crack down on unsociable behaviour at the footy, but what constitutes umpire abuse continues to puzzle fans.
A patron was evicted from Marvel Stadium on Saturday, after umpire Matthew Nicholls called out a fan who labelled him a “bald headed flog”. Only weeks prior, a Richmond cheer squad member received a three-week ban for calling an umpire a “green maggot”.

And that same cheer squad now believes they’re been watched by secret AFL spies.

As reported in the Herald Sun, one Richmond cheer squad member believes security guards and integrity officers have been conducting surveillance on the group since Round 5.

“We have noticed a massive increase in security around the cheer squad bays the last couple of weeks,” Beattie said.

“There are two guys dressed up like FBI agents from the integrity department and a spotter who points us out to the integrity guys and takes photos and sends it to the club and tries to ban us.”

The Richmond cheer squad has requested the AFL devise a list of phrases it deems acceptable, fearing more members may be ejected from games.

Western Bulldogs great Luke Darcy told Talking Footy the AFL was teetering on going over the top.

“That is an extraordinary story,” Darcy said.

“We’ve got undercover AFL investigators that are dressed up with a fake hat and moustache.

“Is this communist China? What’s going on?”
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Frank Grimes

Premiership Player
May 8, 2007
3,168
4,423
between two bowling alley
AFL Club
Richmond
The AFL really needs to clarify what the line is for umpire abuse.

The term flog and maggot is very mild. If the term maggot was considered enough to be banned then I would have been banned long ago because I'd probably use that term to describe the umpires every third or fourth game I go to. I'd also imagine that a fifth of the stadium would have to be evicted as well.

With the AFL going under cover I question why they are targeting the Richmond supporters? Is it a case they know the umpires are going to favour the opposition?
 
Last edited:

Tayl0r

Moderator
Jul 16, 2009
37,058
37,323
Perth
AFL Club
Fremantle
I expect there is more to this relating to a do-gooder reporting "anti-social behaviour" than any direction towards the umpires. You'll notice this more as the fan base attending games swells from the die-hards who were there during the hard times to include the new families taking their children to the games now that the club is doing well, but they have expectations of what their experience should include.

I don't take my children to the footy, that's me time, I'm a wreck the entire game pouring in alcohol and hot chips because it's my cheat day for the fortnight while stressing about every single contest - not really enjoying a moment of the game until the final siren or when the clock is showing 28:00 and we are a handful of goals up. That's the sort of crazy footy fan I am.

There is a group of guys who sit behind us who coach from the boundary, both the Dockers players and the umpires. They are full of opinions, none of which have any abuse or foul language. Now I don't know who is reporting them but security guys show up and stick their heads around the wall, standing there looking around for a long time. Every game it happens.

That's part of the football experience. When the guy behind yells out "HE BARELY TOUCHED HIM UMPIRE, ARE YOU BLIND?" and I laugh because he absolutely tackled him without the ball.

As a community we need to come to terms on what the football experience is then let people decide if they want to attend or not.
 

Phar Ace

Premium Platinum
Feb 9, 2017
2,342
4,678
Sunshine Coast
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Brisbane Bullets, Firebirds
I'm not sure I want my footy experience homogenised. I can tune out to stupid language, I think most people can if they try. Even umpires. I respect that most people are different and have different views and I think that is what makes AFL the unique game it is to watch and support. Granted, there have been improving standards surrounding basic discriminatory rights, and that serves us all well, we learn, live and improve as human beings. But these steps are over the top.

It is interesting that someone was evicted from watching the game they love for abusing an umpire over his officiating standards (presumably) by calling him a flog, and yet we have a certain TV show on Foxtel using the same reference types as part of it's promotional material. Neither worry me, albeit I wouldn't be saying it. Would the AFL prefer more direct and accurate language be used like masterbater, w***er etc. Or perhaps we will need codes to express our deepest feelings - Umpire you are a 323! Umpire you green 587!;)

My message for the umpires is don't seek to have a profile, be nameless and faceless if you fear abuse. Whenever you have to make a decision that comes down to appeasing one side and aggravating the other side, you will have disapproval. That won't change, and most of us who do and have done it, get used to the disapproval for the two hours.

The AFL's realisation of the need to apologise to Adam Goodes has in part driven this I think. They now view abuse as a Duty of Care issue.
 
Last edited:

THE THIN MAN

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 7, 2010
7,529
18,145
AFL Club
Richmond
Richmond cheer squad calls for list of appropriate phrases after series of fan ejections for umpire abuse

Richmond’s cheer squad will ask the AFL for a list of allowed phrases after several fans were kicked out of AFL matches for umpire abuse in recent weeks.

Richmond’s cheer squad has urged the AFL to issue it with a list of phrases it can use at games after a dramatic escalation in the ejection of fans during matches.

The league will on Tuesday review whether it will take further action against a Carlton fan who called umpire Matthew Nicholls a “bald headed flog” on Saturday.

It comes as the AFL Umpires Association lobbies the league for a competition-wide campaign against umpire abuse.

Nicholls called out the fan, with security guards escorting him to an AFL integrity officer who interviewed him about his conduct.

Richmond cheer squad member Brett Beattie said on Monday the cheer squad had been surrounded by security guards and integrity officers since the Round 5 clash against Hawthorn.

A fan was given a three-week ban for calling an umpire a “green maggot” at that game, with reports three more Tigers fans were ejected the following week against North Melbourne.

It is understood a fan was ejected at that Kangaroos clash after calling an umpire a “dog”.

Beattie said the fans were in the dark about what they were allowed to say in humour, adamant any phrases with racism or abusive language were already off limits.

“We have noticed a massive increase in security around the cheer squad bays the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“There are two guys dressed up like FBI agents from the integrity department and a spotter who points us out to the integrity guys and takes photos and sends it to the club and tries to ban us.

“They are turning fans away. What are we allowed to say? Where is the line? We know we can’t abuse umpires, or use foul language but where is the warning?

“People say it is a family event but it’s not the theatre. If people yell out the wrong thing they get corrected now by the people around them.

We had three people taken out of the Richmond-Kangaroos game before quarter time.”

The AFL Umpires Association refused to comment on Monday but has had discussions with the league about how to reduce against umpires.

Up to 50 per cent of umpires at lower leagues walk away from the game, with the game-day atmosphere one of the biggest concerns.

That campaign could involve players, coaches and broadcasters as the league seeks to reduce abuse.

The umpires union has an issue with the amount of replays shown of fans abusing umpires over the fence after contentious decisions, believing it normalises abuse.

The league says it will review the “bald headed flog” comments on Tuesday, having denied it had a part in the banning of the fan involved in the “green maggot” comments.

"The AFL confirms Marvel Stadium security and police evicted a patron during the Carlton v Brisbane Lions match on Saturday afternoon,” it said in a statement.

“At the conclusion of Round 12, the AFL will review all of the available information and security report to assess if any further action should be taken."

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/teams/richmond/richmond-cheer-squad-calls-for-list-of-appropriate-phrases-after-series-of-fan-ejections-for-umpire-abuse/news-story/c423031d6d5d37edc0a4164a51c925aa
 

TigerImposter

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2014
21,696
38,756
Abandoned toilets at Coburg Footy ground
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
The Fanboi Farters
AFL is now entering an era of over sterilisation and all of those people that have been evicted from games need to mount a case against the AFL as there is enough loopholes and ambiguity in their policies that will win their cases.
Political Correctness has now gone from partially acceptable to madness.
The AFL is making a rod for its own back with these clinical procedures of nonsense as people will just not bother to show up. Banter is not personal driven in its direction, but more a release of frustration and closer to humour directed. As I discussed at Coburg with a good friend the Maggots case was going to open up the floodgates and that patron needed to take action against all parties in order to stop this PC nonsense.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

JAKLAUGHING

Premium Platinum
Nov 20, 2008
20,180
32,809
Vilnius
AFL Club
Richmond
AFL is now entering an era of over sterilisation and all of those people that have been evicted from games need to mount a case against the AFL as there is enough loopholes and ambiguity in their policies that will win their cases.
Political Correctness has now gone from partially acceptable to madness.
The AFL is making a rod for its own back with these clinical procedures of nonsense as people will just not bother to show up. Banter is not personal driven in its direction, but more a release of frustration and closer to humour directed. As I discussed at Coburg with a good friend the Maggots case was going to open up the floodgates and that patron needed to take action against all parties in order to stop this PC nonsense.
Crowd fund by footy supporters to get a lawyer and contest the next patron evicted!
 

TigerImposter

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2014
21,696
38,756
Abandoned toilets at Coburg Footy ground
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
The Fanboi Farters
Crowd fund by footy supporters to get a lawyer and contest the next patron evicted!
It’s such nonsense that they have to plant people to eavesdrop on the cheer squad. Hello can’t they hear them from 50-100metres away like the umpires? Nonsense at its best .
 

Tiger Toffee

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2014
11,644
35,336
Punt Rd to Goodison Park
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Everton
" It's alright umpire ignore those booing people, everyone makes poor decisions in the workplace and i am sure if given another opportunity you will make the correct one next time "

is what i will be yelling out next time an umpire waves play on after one of our players chases someone down and is not awarded a free kick for HTB.

And like i said in the other thread, just being loud now is getting you spoken too.
 

Tiger Toffee

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2014
11,644
35,336
Punt Rd to Goodison Park
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Everton
It’s such nonsense that they have to plant people to eavesdrop on the cheer squad. Hello can’t they hear them from 50-100metres away like the umpires? Nonsense at its best .
Mate, i stand at the punt road end of the ground and i can tell you that security and police numbers around our area has increased this year and there hasn't been any trouble for 4 years now.

During dreamtime we had a few bomber fans in amongst us and they were pretty rowdy but non threatening, security multiple times coming around the front telling them to stop it, us tiger fans are telling the security to take a hike as the bombers fans were doing nothing wrong.

Same match i get told off for being loud and more recently friday night as well, it really is out of control now.

EDIT: i have never been told off for being loud in the 19 years i have been in standing room until this year.
 
Top Bottom