The father of Brooke Cotchin has come out all guns blazing over the treatment of his daughter following her day spa quarantine breach.
Brooke, the wife of Richmond captain Trent Cotchin, was busted by the AFL breaching the league’s strict biosecurity protocols after posting an image of her visit to a day spa on the Gold Coast.
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The visit was in breach of the isolation hub that players and clubs have agreed to as part of the agreement with the Queensland Government that has allowed the 2020 AFL season to continue.
The AFL investigated Brooke’s visit and the league announced her day of pampering has cost the Richmond Football Club $45,000, with $25,000 suspended.
But now her father Rick Kennedy has hit out at the league and the club over the way she was treated in the wake of the breach.
“My own view, and this is not coming from Trent and Brooke … I think the AFL and Richmond handled it really poorly,” Kennedy said on Triple M.
“They talk today a big game about supporting women, coming in behind women and promoting women.
“What they really did is shut her down and didn’t allow her to go public and take responsibility.
“That took a few days to work its way through. I think the disappointing thing from where I sit is they had a prime opportunity to actually support a woman in a real life case rather than just words.”
Kennedy added: “Effectively she was muzzled. People are making comments and having views without having all the facts.
“If you met people face-to-face you generally don’t have those conversations, but it is easy on Instagram or Facebook to have a go.”
Brooke revealed she had become the latest AFL figure to receive a series of “vile” social media attacks following her quarantine breach.
She showed incredible class in the aftermath of the scandal as she and her husband offered to pay for the fine and issued a public apology on Instagram.
Her apology also included a brave show of support for stood down AFL reporter Mitch Cleary, who was reinstated after posting Cotchin’s deleted Instagram post of her day spa trip to his Twitter account.
“I wish to apologise for the mistake I have made and I am deeply sorry for any angst that I have created for anyone. It was an honest mistake and one that I am incredibly remorseful for,” Cotchin posted to Instagram.
“I am the first to admit I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes, this being one that I need to own and learn from.”
Now, for the first time, Cotchin has revealed the horror truth behind why she has not posted to her 36,000 Instagram followers since that apology on August 3.
“It was a really hard time for not only me but our family,’’ Cotchin said.
“I was in a very bad place for a little while and it took some time to dig myself out.
“Dealing with the lengths of the online bullying was and is something I am learning to try and block out. Some of the vile comments and personal messages were gut wrenching and it breaks my heart that people deal with this on a daily basis.
“It blows my mind how nasty people can be.
“I just can’t even imagine taking the time to send such horrible messages to someone nor would it ever cross my mind to, no matter what they did.”
Cotchin will remain in the AFL’s Queensland hub until the end of the 2020 season, which could see her separated from her extended family in Victoria through to the AFL Grand Final on October 24.
The couple’s children Harper, 5, Mackenzie, 4, and Parker, 1, will also remain in their new Queensland home for as long as the Tigers remain unable to return home to Victoria.
The Tigers have been subjected to disgusting abuse on social media in recent months with Cotchin’s teammates Dylan Grimes and Nick Vlastuin this week going public to name and shame the accounts that sent them disgusting messages of abuse following Richmond’s win over Essendon in Darwin.
Two men have been arrested over the alleged death threats sent to the players.