AFL issues warning to Collingwood’s Mason Cox after ‘bizarre’ pre-game act during clash with GWS Giants

It is the pre-game act that has everyone talking and saw the AFL hit Collingwood big man Mason Cox with a ‘please explain’.

Cox ran into the Giants’ warm-up area during a ball-up drill before Saturday night’s Opening Round match at Engie Stadium … and on the way he shoved GWS Giants ruck coach Shane Mumford.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Exclusive vision of Mason Cox incident.

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Now, the AFL has released its verdict on the Cox act — which was called “bizarre” by Giants livewire” Brent Daniels.

After the match, Cox was called “a clown” by one commentator, and he has since apologised while also explaining his side of the story.

Not everyone in the media was buying Cox’s explanation but on Tuesday the AFL decided to take a gentle stick to the premiership Pie.

Mason Cox has been hit with a warning. Credit: Getty Images

AFL’s football manager Laura Kane said Cox would not be financially punished but had been officially warned.

“Mason has been provided with a warning and that’s been communicated to the Collingwood Football Club,” Kane told AFL Media.

“It’s not something we want to see, players interacting physically with opposition staff members or players in the pre-game warm-up. It’s not a feature we want to see in the elite game, nor at community level.”

Veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson was one of many not buying what Cox was selling.

“That’s a flimsy excuse at best,” she said.

“He wanted one more ball-up , one more run up, but the time was up and even if it wasn’t up, you don’t go and jostle and hit the opposition’s former ruckman.”

An AFL statement said it “should have been plainly apparent” to Cox to stop his drill when he saw Mumford and the Giants players in the area.

“Whilst the umpire did agree to another bounce as requested by Cox, it nevertheless should have been plainly apparent to Cox that GWS coach Mumford and multiple GWS players had congregated in the centre circle by the time the relevant bounce occurred,” the AFL said.

“Noting Cox’s contrition and the club’s commitment in supporting him to be more aware in the future, the AFL has determined to issue a reprimand to Cox and take no further action.

“It is important that all players conduct themselves professionally particularly during breaks and in the periods prior to and following matches.”

Cox was already public enemy No.1 with the Giants after describing their home venue as “a showground for livestock” when the AFL announced it would be starting the 2024 season with four games in NSW and Queensland.

GWS even set-up a petting zoo at Engie Stadium, formerly Giants Stadium, and named it after Cox.

They had the last laugh when Cox failed to register a disposal in the first half and finished with just five possessions, with the Giants winning by 32 points.

– With AAP

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