North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson issues apology for ‘inappropriate’ language to St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster

North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has apologised for a foul-mouthed outburst directed at St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster following the veteran’s brutal bump on Jy Simpkin.

Clarkson was fuming at the quarter-time break on Sunday after seeing his captain knocked out in an incident that will see Webster sent directly to the AFL tribunal.

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The incident happened with a minute left in the first quarter and it’s been reported that Clarkson told Webster in no uncertain terms that he would receive a lengthy ban.

Some Saints players, including Dougal Howard, chirped back at Clarkson before the Kangaroos coach used the term “c***sucker.”

Clarkson on Monday apologised for the “inappropriate” language, but it remains to be seen whether the AFL will sanction the four-time premiership coach.

Clarkson delivered a foul-mouthed spray at quarter-time on Sunday. Credit: Getty Images

“I was deeply disturbed seeing our captain Jy Simpkin forced from the field as a result of a heavy collision just before quarter time,” Clarkson said.

“Jy has had a great pre-season and has now had three concussions in 12 months and I was so disappointed to see him leave the field in that way.

“At the quarter-time break, I voiced my displeasure to St Kilda players Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard as they made their way to the quarter-time huddle.

“This was an exchange that was emotional in defence of our captain, but unnecessary and the language I used was inappropriate.

“I have reached out to Ross Lyon and both the St Kilda players to apologise.”

It’s the latest in a long list of outbursts from Clarkson, who infamously punched a whole through the wall in the MCG coaching box in 2012.

Just last year, he apologised for an incident with a news reporter when a media pack gathered at the club in the wake of allegations surrounding Tarryn Thomas.

He also previously called a journalist a “c***head” in 2013 and escaped punishment that same year when he verbally abused two Port Melbourne players during a VFL match.

Meanwhile, Webster and Saints football boss David Misson on Monday both issued statements about the incident.

“I deeply regret my actions in (Sunday’s) game,” Webster said.

“I’ve reached out to Jy and cannot understate my remorse.

“My thoughts are with Jy and his family, and I hope he has a speedy and successful recovery.”

Misson labelled the incident “out of character” for Webster, “who has proven to be a fair and honest player”.

Coach Ross Lyon conceded there is “no defence” for Webster and is prepared to accept whatever penalty comes their way.

Lyon spent Monday morning with Webster for a pre-arranged coffee catch-up and said the 30-year-old veteran is “devastated”.

“He’s really concerned for Jy. Very remorseful but it was a split-second action. It’s very difficult,” Lyon said.

“It’s just a very difficult situation. Really concerned for both lads, in particular Jy because it was very heavy physical contact.

“Jimmy’s remorseful. (We’re) just coming in now to talk about going to the tribunal. Clearly there’s no defence to it.

“We always support the person, change the behaviour.

“We’ve got to continue to evolve the game but we’re devastated for both boys involved and there’s not much obviously I can do about it.

“If we could change things we would but we can’t.”

The concussion has left Simpkin’s immediate future up in the air after he suffered two concussions in the space of six weeks last year.

Simpkin will technically be eligible to play in Round 1 against Greater Western Sydney if he clears the 12-day return-to-play protocols, but it appears likely the club will give him an extra week to recover given his history of head knocks.

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