North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson has issued an apology to a TV reporter after making a threatening comment during an altercation earlier this month.
Reporters, including 9 News journalist Elisabeth Moss, were at the Kangaroos’ headquarters on February 1 after the Herald Sun published a story that indicated disturbing allegations from “multiple women” against North player Tarryn Thomas of harassment and intimidating behaviour had been provided to the AFL.
As Moss sought comment from Clarkson, the four-time premiership coach told the reporter “your time will come”, according to SEN. Moss informed Channel 9 superiors of the incident.
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Remarkably, Clarkson’s response came after specific text messages allegedly sent by Thomas to a woman were published by the Herald Sun. One text, as part of the flurry of messages, allegedly included: “Your turn will come.”
In a statement provided to SEN, Clarkson said he drove to Channel 9’s Docklands headquarters where he met with Moss and two of her colleagues and apologised upon realising “the impact of my comment”.
Clarkson said he was acting to “protect our players and staff” when he made the comment.
“I was involved in an incident with a Channel Nine News reporter on the day the news broke about the allegations against Tarryn Thomas,” Clarkson’s statement to SEN read.
“There was a significant media pack at the club that day who were actively targeting players, staff and coaches throughout the session and my reaction was to protect our players and staff.
“To my great regret, I overreacted to the Nine News reporter and made one comment to her along the lines of ‘your time will come’.
“That comment was in reference to facing intense scrutiny when you’re in the public eye and how challenging that can be.
“When I was made aware of the impact of my comment, I sought to apologise immediately to the reporter not realising how my words could have been perceived.
“I also opted to make that apology in person rather than by phone, in the presence of the reporter and two of her senior colleagues at Channel Nine headquarters later that day.
“The journalist accepted my apology and we agreed to move forward.”
Clarkson’s Kangaroos kick off their 2022 campaign against West Coast next month.
The coach is also one of several ex-Hawthorn staffers being investigated by an independent panel, which centres on allegations of mistreatment of First Nations players between 2008 and 2016.
Originally published as Alastair Clarkson issues apology to TV news reporter for comment during altercation