AFL Bans the Long Walk Home

Image courtesy of The Herald Sun
Image courtesy of The Herald Sun

THE AFL has placed a ban on coaches walking to their hotels after games following a meeting with South Australian hotel partners Accor on Monday.

The decision comes in the wake of a late night altercation involving Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson and an allegedly inebriated supporter that occurred as Clarkson was walking back to his hotel following an 8-point loss to Port Adelaide in April.

Footage emerged soon after the game that appears to show a man confronting Clarkson as he is walking to a inner city hotel and satirically asking “Hey ‘Clarko’, how was the win, mate? How was the win today, brother?”, at which point Clarkson uses his right hand to push the man away. The man in the video then moves closer to Clarkson and yells “Go the Power”, prompting Clarkson to forcefully attack the man.

The incident prompted a police investigation, however, at this stage no charges have been laid against Alistair Clarkson or the fan in question.

A spokesperson for the AFL has said that following discussions with Accor hotels the league has decided that coaches are no longer allowed to walk back to their hotels following games and must instead take the team bus.

“We have sent [a memo] to all the clubs that you now must go by the bus and then in terms of what we can do when players and coaches leave the bus and go into the hotel”.

The South Australian Police met with Clarkson in Melbourne on Monday as investigations continue into the hotel incident and it is unclear at this stage whether Clarkson will be charged with assault following his attack on the fan in the video.