GWS Giants defender Heath Shaw says sledging will always be a part of AFL and admits it can be hard not to overstep the mark in the heat of a match.
Shaw, who was recently forced to apologise for calling Sydney’s Tom Papley a “f***ing retard“, was speaking on Wednesday after St Kilda’s controversial sledging of Carlton captain Marc Murphy.
Murphy was incensed at St Kilda’s sledging during Saturday’s game, understood to be in reference to his wife, with the Saints later admitting they had overstepped the mark.
Shaw, whose ill-advised remarks were broadcast to a national audience when picked up on an umpire’s microphone, said he is not one to shy away from sledging and has done it for most of his career.
“It is a part of the game and I think it will be but … there is a line that you shouldn’t cross,” Shaw said.
While he hopes there will not be anymore controversial instances he said it would be impossible to stamp sledging out of the game.
“You can’t control the heat of the moment for players,” he said.
“During the game you are making a hundred decisions … and sometimes a slip of the tongue or a comment comes out.
“It is a tough game, and if you think it is going to get you an advantage then why not do it? But you obviously can’t take it too far.”