Dustin Martin is yet to speak publicly following the release of a video allegedly showing the Richmond superstar groping a woman’s breast.
But Nine’s Tony Jones has asked if the leaked video from 2015 could drive the three-time Norm Smith Medallist into retirement, especially as it follows the death of his father in December last year.
“It’s what could be the fallout. That’s the great unknown at this stage,” Jones told 9News Melbourne prior to the Tigers’ elimination final against Brisbane.
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“Football aside, there’s genuine concern for Martin’s mental wellbeing, (with) the controversy coming as he still tries to cope with the recent death of his father.
“The added concern for not just fans, but the club in general, is that this controversy might just push Martin into retirement or to Sydney in a bid to escape the fishbowl of Melbourne.”
Martin kicked a goal in the first quarter, but looked well below his best as the Tigers were stunned by two points at the Gabba.
Following the match, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick delivered an emphatic response to speculation surrounding his star man’s future.
“He’s got two years of his contract to run,” he told reporters.
“As far as I’m concerned, all the speculation comes from people sitting over at that side of the table (reporters). It’s pretty simple to me, if you guys keep talking about it it creates speculation.
“The reality is, I’m telling you that he’s got two more years of his contract. He’s not going anywhere.”
Richmond assistance coach David Teague underlined the importance of Martin focusing on finals footy amid the drama.
“He’s been through a lot this year and it’s another situation where he has to put that aside when it comes to game day and play his role for the team,” Teague told 9News Melbourne.
“I’ve got no doubt he’s got his closer confidants he’ll go to, probably some of the senior players, the coach, but Dusty is a pretty private person, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s spending a bit of time by himself.”
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