Tigers fine Cousins over middle finger - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers fine Cousins over middle finger

By Adam Cooper 02/06/2009 07:32:05 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins' middle finger has cost the Richmond recruit a four-digit fine from his AFL club, and the threat of more punishment from the Tigers and the league.

The Tigers on Tuesday imposed a $5,000 fine - half of it suspended for 12 months - on Cousins for gesturing with his middle finger at a fixed camera in Richmond's rooms before Saturday night's game against Fremantle.

The AFL also imposed a suspended fine, of $5,000, also for 12 months, after noting the Tigers had punished their controversial midfielder, who is just four games into his Richmond career.

Richmond's leadership group met to discuss Cousins' gesture, which was broadcast by the Ten Network and was condemned on the weekend by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou as offensive.

Cousins has said his one-fingered salute was a joke to a television cameraman friend who he thought would be working on the night, and that he never thought the gesture would be broadcast.

But upon viewing the footage, Cousins admitted the sight of him staring at the camera with a straight face could be deemed offensive by the league, Richmond and the public.

"I hadn't seen the footage until yesterday (Monday) afternoon and wasn't aware of my facial expression," he said.

"Once I viewed the footage I realised why the public, the AFL and the Richmond Football Club were offended by my actions."

Richmond general manager of football Craig Cameron said Cousins' gesture was a breach of the club's behaviour standards.

"That is why it was important that Ben apologised and was also fined," Cameron said.

"As far as we are concerned the issue has been addressed by the club, we have told Ben we were disappointed with his actions and we are all ready to move on from this topic."

The AFL said it had received a written explanation from Cousins, which included an apology.

AFL football operations general manager Adrian Anderson said the league had taken into account the penalty Richmond had sanctioned when imposing its own fine.

The AFL's fine will be suspended in its entirety provided Cousins pays his club fine and avoids trouble for the next year.

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