The photo that nearly brought down the AFL: Adelaide Crows fined $50,000 for ignoring Covid protocol
The photo that nearly brought down the AFL: Former captain and star player pictured without masks on flight days after the Melbourne outbreak – as their team is fined $50,000
- AFL players Taylor Walker and Luke Brown pictured breaking Covid protocols
- The two Adelaide Crows players were pulled down during a flight
- The AFL has fined the team $50,000 that will be deducted from their salary cap
Two Adelaide Crows players ended up in hot water after a fellow passenger on a flight snapped a photo of them not wearing their face masks.
The club has been fined $50,000 for the violation, the AFL confirmed on Saturday, after former captain Taylor Walker and defender Luke Brown were shown with their masks pulled around their chins.
The fine is to be deducted from their football department’s salary cap, likely affecting employees’ pay packages.
Luke Brown (pictured left) and Taylor Walker (pictured right) were bitten by a fellow passenger who was not wearing their masks during a flight to Adelaide
Adelaide defender Luke Brown (pictured with partner Ingrid) was spotted in-flight looking at something on his phone with his masks on his chin
AFL general adviser Andrew Dillon revealed in a statement that other players at the club also broke Covid safety protocol on the run.
“A number of Crows players and officials violated the applicable rule to wear a face mask on a commercial flight from Sydney to Adelaide last weekend,” the statement said.
“The AFL, in conjunction with the club, has investigated the matter and determined that a number of officials and players were not wearing their face masks properly during the flight.
“The club has been fined $50,000, with 100 percent of the penalty to be included in their Football Department’s soft cap.”
Face masks must be worn in accordance with public health guidelines at all Australian airports and on all flights.
Former captain Taylor Walker (pictured with partner Ellie Brown) was spotted talking to a team official with his mask off too
The Crows had themselves contacted the AFL on Friday with a request to investigate an alleged violation of the Covid restriction on the flight.
The image of Walker and Brown — taken by a fellow passenger on the flight — surfaced that night after it was sent to 9News.
Adelaide Crows CEO Tim Silvers apologized to other passengers on the plane.
“We are well aware of our responsibilities and the need to adhere to guidelines and protocols established by the AFL and health authorities,” he said.
“Our club accepts the penalty from the AFL and owns this mistake from top to bottom.”
He added that the team’s “complacency” had resulted in the masks being mis-worn rather than not following the rules.
The Crows players aboard the flight from Sydney back to Adelaide (pictured)
“It is a privilege to play games in these challenging times and we recognize the government’s obligation for people to wear face masks at airports and on all domestic commercial flights.”
The Crows flight was back to Adelaide after playing for the Richmond Tigers in Sydney.
The match had been rescheduled after Victoria’s lockdown triggered by their latest Covid outbreak – which stands at 69 local infections on Saturday.
The next game to be played on Saturday was against Collingwood at their home port, after the South Australian government allowed the team to cross the border from Wednesday.
South Australia closed the border to all of Victoria on May 28, but the Magpies were allowed on a chartered flight and will skip the two-week quarantine.
The Crows take to the field for their round 12 match against Collingwood on Saturday