Opinion: It’s a line-in-the-sand moment as behaviour gets out of control

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
GNFL President Carrissa makes a statement at a Northampton home game last year
Camera IconGNFL President Carrissa makes a statement at a Northampton home game last year Credit: Jake Santa Maria/RegionalHUB

As a bit of a one-man operation when it comes to covering sport on the weekends I often only get out to one match of the round with games being played simultaneously at different grounds.

Usually, I base this on which is the most interesting regarding ladder positions and finals ramifications or, like Dane Swan’s case a couple of weeks ago, if there is a marquee player or special event.

So it is incredibly frustrating that I may now have to look beyond the football and be on hand to cover where the next off-field incident will be.

To see the umpire appreciation round thrown down the drain and umpires now having to be escorted from the ground should be a shameful mark on how some folk are behaving.

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In my time here, I’ve had multiple people say the behaviour we saw last weekend and on weekends prior makes them not want to go to the football anymore.

A trip to the footy is now tainted with fear for some and it is not good enough. Simply ignoring the problem or not reporting it will not solve the issue given a league-wide review hasn’t seemed to curtail some of the biggest issues yet.

Some spectators need to pull their heads in and we need to pull their heads out of the sand and stand up and say it will no longer be tolerated.

Clubs, administrators and spectators are tired of putting up with this, we are reaching a crisis point if we can’t turn this around and we start losing umpires games will also follow.

We need to have pride beyond our clubs, and have pride in the league and the game itself otherwise there won’t be much left.

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