ONE of footy's greatest assets is its personalities.
That isn't just a football thing - it goes for sport as a whole - but watching people kick a ball around an oval has never been what has captivated the masses.
It's the narrative, it's the story behind why people choose to pull on the boots. It's the banter. It's the psychology. Sport is more multi-dimensional than those who don't care to watch it will ever realise.
Luke (McDonald) apologised for that and understands what that looks like.Rhyce Shaw
Sledging is part of sport. There's a fine line, and although some are consumed by white line fever and cross it from time to time, most decent people can recognise that line exists and stay on the right side of it.
Luke McDonald's COVID-19 jibe at Essendon's Conor McKenna was probably "not necessary", as North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw mused post-match, but is that the kind of thing we want to stamp out?
The incident occured after a quarter-time scurry broke out. McDonald turned to McKenna and made a dramatic face covering gesture, appearing to reference McKenna's positive test in late June.
"We've dealt with that internally. Luke's given Conor a call," Shaw said.
"From our perspective, it wasn't necessary. It's a bad look and considering all of the things that are going on around the world at the moment, and even more specifically in Melbourne, we just don't accept that type of behaviour.
"Luke apologised for that and understands what that looks like."
Shaw's comments make sense.
Coronavirus is one of the most significant events in human history. It's devastated economies and killed over half a million people worldwide.
Is it a joking matter? Not at all. McDonald, who has been used as a tagger in recent weeks, was probably trying to ruffle feathers and get in the opposition's head.
While it's not the best look, let's hope it doesn't set a precedence whereby taggers are reluctant to engage in mind games.
It's any wonder players are criticised for being robots and giving cliche answers at interviews.
Things are analysed to the finest detail and the personality and character of Australia's national game is what makes it the best spectator sport in the world.
Don't mute the personalities. Colourful characters brought the game to life in the 1970s and 1980s and will keep generations in love with the game heading into the future.
Finding the balance between keeping colour and excitement alive in AFL football and not straying over that line of decency is the toughest part.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.