Hawks' Williams sorry over gesture - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks' Williams sorry over gesture

19/05/2008 07:38:33 PM Comments (0)

Rival captains Sam Mitchell and Warren Tredrea are certain the next time Mark Williams celebrates an AFL goal, it will not be at the opposition's expense.

Port Adelaide's Tredrea said the Hawthorn forward had called "half my team mates" to apologise for the choking gesture near the end of the match last Saturday at Launceston.

Williams was mimicking the famous celebration by his namesake, the Port Adelaide coach, after the Power had won the 2004 premiership.

Soon after the final siren four years ago, the Power coach had lifted his tie in a mock strangle to triumphantly signal to the fans that the club's reputation as finals chokers was over.

But Hawthorn's Williams controversially mocked the gesture after he kicked a goal, as his side overran Port.

"I daresay he (Williams) is sitting there regretting it, considering he's tried to call half my team mates to apologise," Tredrea said.

"I think if he had his time again, he would do it differently.

"The gesture was a form of sledge, but you don't know what context he was actually meaning to do it in."

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was furious with the gesture, starting his post-match media conference with an apology to Port Adelaide.

Mitchell, the Hawthorn captain, said that his team-mate needed no explanation that he had done the wrong thing.

"He was shattered after the game, really, he was very disappointed with his own actions and it was just a brain explosion," Mitchell said.

"He was very remorseful straight away - it wasn't like it had to be explained to him, he was pretty upset about it.

"When it comes to dealing with certain issues like that, you have to look at the person and how they handle it - if they think it's a flippant, not very important thing, then you probably come down on him like a ton of bricks."

Williams used to celebrate goals by mimicking that he was firing a rifle, but he shelved that routine.

"There's a time and a place for most things, it depends where it's aimed," Mitchell said.

"It (goal celebration) is certainly a colourful part of the game that we wouldn't want to take completely out of it, but it's got to be aimed in a positive light, not in a negative (way)."

The Hawks skipper said Clarkson had made it clear to the team that such gestures as the "choker" would not be tolerated.

"Whether it's `Willo' or whether it's another player, you wouldn't want to be the next person who comes out with a gesture like that."

Meanwhile, Mitchell said he would be available for Sunday's match against Melbourne at the MCG.

Mitchell suffered concussion in a collision with Shaun Burgoyne and the star Power midfielder faces a three-match suspension for the incident.

"I was a bit scratchy over the last couple of days, but come Monday I usually come up pretty well ... I will be fine," Mitchell said.

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