Star’s interview torched after ugly act
Giants star Toby Greene’s incident with an umpire has made him the talk of football and he was also at the centre of a divisive moment off the field.
Giants star Toby Greene’s season hangs in the balance after his contact with an umpire during his team’s thrilling win over the Swans — but he’s not the only one under fire.
The serial offender will learn on Monday if his season is over and his expected judiciary hearing will make him the talk of the football world in the lead up to the Giants’ semi-final showdown with Geelong.
Video of the three-quarter-time incident appeared to show the feisty star mouthing off to umpire Matt Stevic before he bumped into the whistleblower as he made his way over to the sideline before the final term.
The contact has divided the footy world with several high profile footy pundits calling for the rascal to escape with a fine.
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Greene was also involved in another controversial moment after the final siren of the Giants’ nailbiting 11.8 (74) to 10.13 (73) win with footy commentators slamming the 27-year-old’s interview with footy great Luke Hodge.
The interview included just one question from the Hawthorn champion about the incident with the umpire and has led to criticism about his apparent defence of the Giants star.
“We saw you had a collision with the umpire running past, it looked like you were in a tractor beam running towards your teammates. An accidental bit of contact,” Hodge asked.
Greene responded: “I don’t know what it was. It was just in the moment and certainly would never touch him.
“I was just talking to him about something in the game, but yeah.”
Hodge followed up by saying: “You could tell it was a total accident”.
Some footy greats, including Luke Darcy and Matthew Richardson, agreed with Hodge’s assessment on Saturday, but others were unhappy with how the conversation unfolded.
Veteran football journalist Rohan Connolly posted on Twitter it appeared Hodge was “working hard to get Greene off in post-game interview”.
The ABC’s Craig Dixon posted on Twitter it was a “ridiculous interpretation by Hodge”.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Vince Rugari wrote: “Bit of a strange interview from Luke Hodge. Definitely wanted to avoid even a hint of confrontation on the umpire contact. Would probably hate to be the GWS official who has to let Toby know”.
Fox Footy analyst David King appeared to clearly disagree with Hodge’s assessment. He said after the game Greene is in “a lot of trouble”.
“I don’t think there’s any way of talking around this,” he said.
“The umpires are a no-go zone and when you decide to walk into their path… I think he made a calculated decision. He’s made a big error and unfortunately he’ll miss several weeks.
“You just can’t do that.”
Tigers star Jack Riewoldt also told Fox Footy after the game, “It doesn’t look great”.
“He’s got no one else to blame but himself,” he said.
Saints great Nick Dal Santo said on SEN Greene had the option to change his direction and should be punished for the contact which he says was avoidable.
Fox Footy AFL 360 host Gerard Whateley said he is certain Greene will be suspended.
“If the game is serious, it will be a multiple week suspension,” he said on SEN.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said in his press conference he was certain Greene’s contact “wouldn’t have been intentional”.
AFL Match Review Officer Michael Christian will now have to decide the debate
The laws of the game state that any contact with an umpire that is deemed aggressive, forceful, demonstrative or disrespectful will be classified as intentional and the player will be directly referred to the tribunal.
Despite Greene’s incident, GWS hung on for a one-point victory against a fast-finishing Sydney team to send the Swans packing back to the Harbour City.
Greene is no stranger to controversy. Over the course of his career, he has copped over $26,000 in fines, and been charged and suspended multiple times.
In 2018, Greene accrued $5000 in fines from incidents in the Giants’ elimination final and semi-final. A year later, he was hit with a $7500 fine in his side’s elimination final and a one-week suspension from the semi-final, forcing him to watch the Giants’ maiden grand final appearance from the sidelines.
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