Clarkson investigated for verbal outburst

North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson is under investigation from the AFL over an alleged verbal outburst during the Kangaroos’ loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday.

clarkson investigated for verbal outburst

North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson.

The league on Wednesday confirmed Clarkson was the subject of a probe for allegedly using “profane language” in reaction to an umpiring decision while coaching from the bench.

It is not clear if Clarkson’s alleged abuse was directed at anyone, but it was audible to match officials.

“The league are looking into an incident on Saturday where North Melbourne coach Clarkson, coaching from the bench, used profane language that was audible to others (including match officials) following an umpire’s decision. An update will be provided once enquiries are completed,” AFL spokesperson Jay Allen said in a statement.

Clarkson risks being banned if found guilty after receiving a suspended two-match penalty for verbally abusing St Kilda players after Jimmy Webster felled Kangaroos skipper Jy Simpkin in a practice match in March. He was also fined $20,000 for using the homophobic slur “c---sucker”.

The drama comes with the Kangaroos winless after 11 games and staring at a third wooden spoon in four seasons, and a fifth consecutive bottom-two finish.

clarkson investigated for verbal outburst

Clarkson said sorry for abusing St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster.

Clarkson – who has a long history of poor discipline, often related to a failure to control his emotions – said in March after the incident with St Kilda that he would need to adjust how he coached.

“I’m probably going to have to reinvent myself a little bit as a coach,” Clarkson said.

“That tribalism and passion, which strangely enough is what our game’s built on, that’s been a key part of my coaching for a long, long period of time. Usually, I get embroiled in these situations when there’s a significant amount of emotion, or I’m trying to protect either a club or a player or myself or my family.

“I’ve been involved in these sorts of things before, we know that, there’s a history sheet of that, and each time it’s happened I’ve pulled myself just below the line again.”

Among Clarkson’s long list of offences is a four-game ban from the South Metro Junior Football League for abusing a league official at his son’s under-9s game in 2012. That incident happened a day after he punched a hole in the wall of an MCG coach’s box.

In 2017, he was fined $20,000 by the AFL for saying he would not comment on “disgraceful umpiring” after Hawthorn had lost to Gold Coast.

Nine years earlier, he was docked $5000 for abusing umpire Justin Schmitt after a loss to Geelong, after which he said: “He’s a good player for the Cats that No.17, wasn’t he? He’s a ripper.”

Geelong did not have a player in that game wearing No.17, the number of Schmitt’s umpire’s shirt.

The Kangaroos said they would not comment until after the league had completed its enquiries.

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