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AFL umpire abuse: Country footy umpire hits out at Neil Mitchell over barking suggestion

A debate has ignited around what words are and aren’t okay at the AFL, following a string of fan evictions and bans for abusing umpires.

A Carlton fan was ejected from Marvel Stadium on Saturday after allegedly calling an umpire a “bald headed flog”.

Last week, a Tigers cheer squad member was hit with a three-game ban after labelling an umpire a “green maggot”.

Neil Mitchell suggested fans bark at umpires when they make a bad decision, rather than name-calling.

“If dog is an unacceptable form of abuse to umpires, why don’t we start barking rather than saying dog?,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“If you think it’s a dog of a decision, get the whole cheer squad to go ‘woof, woof, woof.”

Steve, an country footy umpire, took aim at the 3AW Mornings host for his suggestion.

“I can’t believe that someone in your position would suggest something like this,” he said.

“It’s infantile.

“If you think it’s funny to call people dogs and go and bark at them, that has a flow down effect.

“We are struggling with numbers that much, it’s not funny.

“People have got better things to do than run around and get abused.

“If you continue to abuse umpires you won’t have any.”

Neil said his barking suggestion intended to highlight the childishness of the debate around umpire abuse.

“My point about barking is to underline the immaturity of the whole thing,” he said.

“I agree there are certain types of abuse which shouldn’t happen … but you can’t expect the fans to sit there and applaud when you make a bad decision.”

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