Snort! bird! bump!: Dusty’s epic meltdown
Richmond lost the match and superstar Dustin Martin lost the plot during a spectacular meltdown against Greater Western Sydney yesterday.
The 2017 premiership player and Brownlow medallist is sure to come under scrutiny from the match review officer for a number of incidents.
In a dirty day for Martin he:
FLIPPED "the bird" and directed a cocaine sledge with a snorting motion supposedly towards Giants ruckman Shane Mumford;
APPEARED to mouth the words, "have another f---ing line you f---ing loser" in a none-too-subtle spray towards Mumford;
GOT involved in an off-the-ball incident with the Giants' Adam Kennedy. Martin appeared to make contact with his forearm to Kennedy's shoulder-neck region in the centre of the ground as the ball was being kicked in 80m away after a behind.
Mumford insisted he had no knowledge of Martin's gesture, let alone whether it was directed at him or not.
"Oh, I've got no idea. No idea," Mumford said.
"I was abusing him from the other side of the field, I know that. But I didn't see it, so it didn't have any effect."
The match was Mumford's first since video emerged last year of him snorting a white powder in 2015.
Giants tagger Matt de Boer niggled Martin to breaking point and kept the Tigers game-breaker to 15 disposals, his lowest tally in a game since Round 1, 2015.
Martin's second quarter of madness culminated in one last mindless moment in which he cannoned into Josh Kelly and nemesis De Boer, prompting the Tigers to hook the Norm Smith medallist from the field in a desperate bid to cool his heels.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was livid about the umpires' treatment of his champion player.
"Why do you reckon he might give away that free kick?" Hardwick said.
"At the end of the day, blokes come to watch the No.4 play. Let the bloke play the game. Protect the ball carrier is what I'm saying. Don't get me wrong, De Boer did a terrific job, but geez … Well, I'm certainly frustrated. I'd be interested to see what the umpiring fraternity says about it."
Asked if he would take it up with the AFL, Hardwick said, "I don't bother," before admitting he confronted match officials about it mid-game.
"Well, I was just asking their responsibility to the ball player," he said. "I didn't get a response."
Martin received a suspended $2000 fine in 2015 for taunting Collingwood fans with a rude finger salute after he kicked a goal.
It followed a previous $2000 suspended fine, two years earlier, for an emotion-charged "handcuffs" gesture in the 2013 elimination final.
To compound matters for Richmond, the Tigers slumped to their second defeat of the season and added to their injury list. Captain Trent Cotchin has a hamstring injury and defender Jayden Short a dislocated elbow.