A TV host has slammed a young AFL player’s stint behind bars for a Covid breach as a ‘national disgrace’ and argues similar rule-breakers have received softer penalties.
Richmond Tigers recruit Sydney Stack was arrested on December 20 following a brawl outside a Perth nightclub while he was meant to be self-isolating.
AFL reporter Mark Robinson described the player’s stint behind bars as a ‘great shame’ seeing as similar Covid breaches had been met with reduced penalties.
Richmond Tigers recruit Sydney Stack (pictured) was arrested on December 20 following a brawl outside a Perth nightclub while he was meant to be self-isolating
AFL reporter Mark Robinson (pictured) has described the young player’s stint behind bars as a ‘great shame’, seeing as similar indiscretions were met with reduced penalties
The 20-year-old became embroiled in the highly-publicised Covid breach after he was granted permission to enter Western Australia from Victoria.
Stack had been permitted to attend his grandfather’s funeral for ‘cultural healing’ as long as he agreed to spend 14 days isolating at an address in Northam, a town northeast of Perth.
Just days later police alleged the young player decided to cut his quarantine short and return to Perth, where he was later issued a ‘move on’ notice after he began brawling with other party-goers in Northbridge.
Footage of the melee allegedly involving Stack went viral the next day, showing a man in a yellow shirt and a man in a black shirt coming to blows on the street.
Police found out the Richmond Tigers player was meant to be in self-isolation after checking his details and promptly arrested him.
The 20-year-old became embroiled in the highly publicised Covid breach after he was granted permission to enter Western Australia from Victoria
Stack had been permitted to attend his grandfather’s funeral for ‘cultural healing’ as long as he agreed to spend 14 days isolating at an address in Northam, a town northeast of Perth
Stack was charged with failing to comply with a direction and appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court via audio from quarantine in a Northbridge watch house.
The Richmond forward was remanded in custody for two weeks over Christmas and New Years Eve before eventually being fined $6000 in the Perth Magistrates court after the Supreme Court found jail time was an excessive punishment.
Speaking on Fox Footy on Wednesday night, TV host and veteran AFL reporter Mark Robinson said the player’s stint in custody was a ‘great shame’ on Western Australia.
Mr Robinson said similar Covid-19 breaches had received lesser penalties, comparing the incident with the four men who recently left Covid-ravaged Sydney and entered illegally Queensland on a superyacht.
The group provided ‘false and misleading information’ upon their arrival and attended the Australian Wallabies rugby union Test match against France at Queensland’s Suncorp Stadium.
The men were slugged with fines of more than $4000 each after the Queensland Water Police and Maritime Safety officers tracked the group down a few days later.
Just days after he was allowed entry in WA police alleged the young player decided to cut his quarantine short and return to Perth where he was issued a ‘move on notice’ at a party
‘The truckies who busted protocols, families who busted protocols, the rich dudes who jumped in their boat and went from Sydney to Queensland and went to the Wallabies game and got a $4000 fine,’ he said.
‘I’ll say it again, that Sydney Stack was put in prison for 3-4 weeks for breaking quarantine is a national disgrace and a great shame on Western Australia.
‘I cannot believe the longer this goes and the lack of penalties for these people who are deliberately doing it, and a young fella was thrown in jail.
‘I’m glad he’s back playing football.’
In September, Stack was kicked out of the AFL’s Queensland coronavirus hub and carted back home for alleged quarantine breaches.
The forward and his Tigers teammate Callum Coleman-Jones were suspended for ten games after they allegedly broke COVID-19 rules to visit a Gold Coast strip club.
Footage captured the pair allegedly fighting in the street after being evicted from Hollywood Showgirls.
The Richmond forward was fined $6000 and was remanded in custody for several weeks over Christmas and New Years Eve for breaching his 14 day quarantine in WA
The AFL said the pair breached the code’s return to play protocols by taking an Uber, visiting a non-approved Gold Coast venue and becoming involved in an altercation which required police intervention.
Queensland Police said the two men were issued with an infringement notice for public nuisance, fined $800 each and both sustained facial injuries during a brawl.
Following an investigation by the AFL and the Richmond Tigers, Stack and Coleman-Jones were immediately sent home from the Sunshine State.
Stack later publicly apologised on Instagram, but missed out on playing in Richmond’s grand final victory against Geelong.
‘I’m very sorry, understand the seriousness of it and can do nothing now but own the consequences,’ the forward wrote at the time.
Covid-19 Australia: AFL player’s stint behind bars for Covid breach slammed as a ‘national disgrace’