Richmond defender Dylan Grimes says the AFL did an “amazing job” of covering up a potential COVID-19 protocol breach after the Tigers’ hotel accommodation in Adelaide was inundated by homeless people in August.
Grimes was left shocked that the AFL weren’t brought to task after the Tigers’ hotel ahead of their round 11 clash with Port Adelaide in August was turned into a temporary homeless shelter while they were there.
The Tigers were only allowed limited interactions with the public at the time, and Grimes said the hotel lobby was “filled with homeless people”.
Grimes said the AFL had done an “amazing job of covering this up”, because Richmond were forced to live a sterile lifestyle for so long, and then the day before a game they were “crammed like sardines” in a lift.
The claims were made by Grimes in a footy panel show that was uploaded on YouTube late last year but only gained widespread traction this weekend.
In a statement the AFL released to the media, the league said it had put on extra security and hotel staff to avoid any breaches.
“The AFL moved and accommodated hundreds of players and officials across the country throughout season 2020,” the statement said.
“When any issues arose we acted accordingly, and in this particular instance having members of the general public staying in the same hotel, we put on extra security and hotel staff to ensure the protocols were abided by.”
Richmond hit the headlines numerous times throughout 2020 for COVID-19 protocol breaches.
Brooke Cotchin, the wife of Tigers captain Trent Cotchin, fell foul of the protocols when she visited a day spa while part of the team’s Queensland hub.
Tigers duo Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones were banned for 10 matches and sent back to Melbourne when broke the protocols while on the Gold Coast to go on a boozy night out that ended up in a fight.