AFL News: Police investigate new Thomas allegations, Fagan lauds ‘clear direction’ on homophobic slur bans

Disgraced former North Melbourne player Tarryn Thomas is once again at the centre of a police investigation, after being accused of harassing an ex-partner.

According to the Herald Sun, Thomas has repeatedly called the woman, whom he allegedly sent a threatening message to earlier this year in an accusation that was one of the key triggers for the AFL handing down an 18-match suspension, at all times of the day and night in recent weeks.

No charges have been laid, with a Victoria Police spokesperson telling the Herald Sun the investigation is ongoing.

The latest allegations come amid heavy debate over whether the AFL should permit a club to hand Thomas a second chance, with the 24-year old eligible to play at lower levels once his ban expires on July 22 provided the league are satisfied with his progress in a behavioural change program.

An email to other club CEOs from Kangaroos CEO Jen Watt warned that the club were ‘not able to meaningfully change his behaviour’ despite entering him into a number of support programs.

Former North Melbourne and now Essendon coach Brad Scott has been one of the loudest voices in his favour, controversially describing Thomas as ‘a good person’ and that it is incumbent on the industry to ‘help him’ turn his life around.

However, speaking after the latest allegations were made, Kangaroos great David King urged the AFL to step in and prevent Thomas from being drafted.

“The AFL needs to take a stand there, don’t they?” King said on SEN Breakfast.

“They’ve got to take him off the table from a draftable perspective.”

Tarryn Thomas. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

Fagan lauds ‘clear direction’ on homophobic slur bans

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has thrown his support behind the AFL’s call to suspend Gold Coast defender Wil Powell for five matches for a homophobic slur directed at a Lions player.

Powell apologised to the player during and after the Suns’ loss in Round 8, and again expressed remorse after his ban was revealed.

It comes after Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson was suspended for three matches for his own homophobic slur in April, with the league saying Powell’s greater suspension is as a result of escalating consequences for abuse.

Speaking on Friday, Fagan applauded the messaging from the AFL that such slurs won’t be tolerated.

“It’s a clear direction from the AFL, which I agree with, that you can’t make those sort of comments out on the field,” he said.

However, Fagan stopped short of weighing in on the length of the suspension, which has caused some controversy in comparison to shorter bans for both Finlayson and for Collingwood forward Lachie Schultz, who was only suspended for one week for a punch to the back of Carlton’s Blake Acres’ head.

“That’s for the AFL to talk about,” Fagan said.

‘Fine the fakes’: Cornes urges crackdown after controversial ‘dangerous tackle’ free

Kane Cornes has urged the AFL to take a stand against players deliberately placing themselves in harm’s way to win dangerous tackle free kicks, after a controversial decision proved costly for Melbourne late in their Thursday night loss to Carlton.

Deep into the last quarter, Jacob van Rooyen was pinged for a dangerous tackle after dispossessing Blue Brodie Kemp, only for the umpire to contentiously deem the Demon hadn’t executed correctly.

The moment denied the Dees a certain goal, with Bayley Fritsch taking what he believed to be the advantage and passing to Ed Langdon in the goalsquare – the incident would soon prove costly as the Demons went down by a solitary point.

Channel Seven commentator Brian Taylor claimed the incident was ‘a classic case of a player deliberately putting his head into the ground’, with the decision – and Kemp’s alleged dive – earning widespread condemnation from fans and pundits alike.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Cornes offered a solution ‘fine the fakes’.

Fellow caller David King agreed, saying players milking free kicks ensures umpires have ‘no chance of getting this stuff right’.

“It’s so hard on the umpires now,” King said.

“This is why I think we need to come up with fines system for the fakers… it was a big moment, it was late in game, a one-point result – it had all the hallmarks of being a significant call for the umpire.”

“I feel for the umpires at the moment. I reckon they’ve got not a chance of getting this stuff right.”

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