Richmond Tigers players Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones have apologised for the major COVID-19 breach that saw them kicked out of Queensland this week, as a $75,000 fine continues to hang over the pair’s heads.
In the early hours of Friday, the two young players broke biosecurity rules by travelling in an Uber to the Gold Coast party strip of Cavill Ave, where they allegedly attended a strip club before engaging in a fistfight outside a neighbouring kebab shop.
The AFL acted swiftly, banning the pair for 10 matches, and fining Richmond $100,000 – $75,000 for Friday’s incident, and an additional amount of $25,000 which had been suspended from an earlier breach.
The two players have both since taken to social media to apologise for their actions. In an Instagram post yesterday, Sydney Stack wrote:
“I’m very sorry, understand the seriousness of it and can do nothing now but own the consequences. I’ve let down the AFL, the club I love, my teammates, coaches and staff, members, and the Tiger Army. I also have let down my family, my friends, and all of those who have helped me along the way. To those who are supporting me at the moment, a huge thanks. I only hope going forward I can rebuild trust in me again.”
Callum Coleman-Jones also took to Instagram, writing:
“I would like to take the opportunity to apologise to everyone that I have affected with my actions. I take full responsibility for what I have done and am extremely remorseful. I’ve let a lot of people down including the football club, the AFL, the Queensland Government, my friends and family and all the supporters/Tiger Army and the wider community.”
“I realise what I did was selfish and had the potential to jeopardise the continuation of the competition being played in Queensland. I fully accept the consequences that have been handed to me. I’m not going to let this incident define me and will work towards earning the trust and respect of everyone back, however long it takes.”
Richmond announced that it will expect the two players to pay the $75,000 fine themselves, covering half each, although it is unclear whether they are allowed to impose such a penalty under the AFL Players’ Association rules.
At this stage, it appears that the two will need to voluntarily offer to pay the penalty, and Stack’s manager is adamant that he will not do this.Image: Getty Images / Graham Denholm / Quinn Rooney