The melee that ensued during the match between Carlton and St. Kilda has become a media and social media frenzy over inappropriate sledging by St. Kilda players, especially Jake Carlisle. The media has come out categorically and said that St. Kilda and Jake Carlisle are completely in the wrong which the club has acknowledged that they went too far. Jake Carlisle on the other hand has not commented except to call Marc Murphy a “whinger”.
Now I don’t mind a bit of sledging, but there are lines that need to be drawn on what is said during the sledging. Family, race, religion, colour, sexuality are totally and completely out of bounds. It is not simply a case of “harden up” as some have said on social media or “get over it”, it is really a symptom of a culture at a club and from a person who really should know better, that accepts sledging such as what happened to Murphy.
A person who targets someone who has nothing to do with the game other than the fact that they are a family member lacks a respect of others. They have no real understanding of what damage they are doing not only to their club but to themselves as well.
Marc Murphy was seen hitting Jake Carlisle while he was on the ground injured. It was probably at that moment that all rational thought evaded him when the comment made by Carlisle about his wife sent him over the edge. Was it the right thing to do? Probably not, but if you are put in that same situation, continually harassed then a stupid, ignorant comment about a loved one, would send anyone over the edge.
Jake Carlisle was embroiled in a club scandal that rendered him unable to play footy for 12 months, the Essendon drug scandal. He was then seen in an image of him snorting white powder and again was condemned. His comment regarding the sledging incident with Murphy on social media while his club has apologised for what was said, shows he is out of touch not only with the integrity of his club but of society as well.
There are no real winners here in this situation but if this was a battle then Carlisle would come out as the looser because in the end his integrity and his ability to understand the society in which we live in is severely lacking. The world of footy and the world itself is changing and some need to step out of the dark ages of making sledging comments about anyone or anything that crosses a line, and realise that we live a really complicated world and what was acceptable before is not any longer.
Murphy doesn’t want anything to go any further or make a complaint to the AFL which is admirable and St. Kilda should thank him for not doing that, because if he did, then the club and Carlisle would be in trouble for something that has nothing to do with footy but a lack of respect of those who have nothing to do with anything else other than being married to a player.
St. Kilda now has an image problem that they thought they had fixed. Carlisle has sent the club backwards and needs to admit that he was wrong and stepped over the line. But he must do this not only just to Murphy but to the footy world, for now the majority of the footy world see Carlisle in a really less favourable light together with the club. Murphy is seen as someone who stood up to bullying from a group who picked on his family. Anyone in that same situation would react in just the same way.