The president says a key federal agency must “do what needs to be done”, even as he vows to fight on.
October 15, 2020
Faced with a take-it-or-leave-it offer, Conor McGregor has apparently decided it was too good to pass up.
McGregor, via a social media post Wednesday, confirmed he has accepted the UFC’s offer for a bout against Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23, 2021.
“I accept, Jan 23rd is on! My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium. Proper Style! Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans! Then Manny,” McGregor posted on Twitter.
Earlier on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White told ESPN he wouldn’t give McGregor a date in 2020 for his proposed rematch with Poirier. On Oct. 7, Poirier accepted the UFC’s offer, and Jan. 23 date, with his own social media post — “I accept.”
McGregor had been hoping to get the fight on the calendar for 2020, but White held firm on Wednesday.
“We didn’t have a date this year. We have everything laid out for this year, with world champions fighting for titles,” White told ESPN. “He’s been offered Dustin Poirier on Jan. 23. It’s a yes or no answer.”
ESPN previously reported that McGregor’s team rebuffed the initial UFC offer regarding Poirier as it instead attempted to square away a match against the 41-year-old Manny Pacquiao, a Philippine boxing legend.
McGregor, 32, has held UFC titles in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, but he has been at odds with the promotion since a TKO win over Donald Cerrone in UFC 246 on Jan. 18. He owns a 22-4 record in mixed martial arts.
Poirier, 31, owns a 26-6 record with one no-contest. In his lone fight of 2020, he beat Dan Hooker by unanimous decision on June 27. His previous bout was a loss by submission to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship fight at UFC 242 last September.
–Field Level Media
Klein stopped play, causing a furious protest from Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson. Vunivalu was briefly treated for his ailment and hobbled back into the defensive line shortly after play resumed.
The NRL will this week consider issuing the Storm with a breach notice given the game’s rules prevent any trainer from “attempts to unnecessarily stop play for tactical reasons”.
It came on the same day it was confirmed Cameron Smith will walk a tightrope in the grand final qualifier after the Storm reluctantly agreed to take an early guilty plea for a dangerous throw charge against the Eels.
Melbourne entered the submission on Monday morning after spending most of Sunday giving serious thought to fighting the sanction at the NRL judiciary, risking Smith’s spot in the preliminary final against either the Roosters or Raiders.
The early guilty plea means Smith will have 75 carry-over points to his name for the match at Suncorp Stadium, which will be the sixth straight year the Storm have played in a grand final qualifier.
Even the most minor indiscretion could rub Smith out of the grand final should the Storm advance, in what could potentially be the last game of his decorated career.
The Storm asked lawyer Nick Ghabar to analyse Smith’s tackle on Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown. The incident was penalised by Klein, but wasn’t put on report.
But given the enormous stakes, the club decided it would be best for Smith to take the early guilty plea. Melbourne insiders insist if it was an ordinary regular season game – or even a qualifying final – they would have definitely challenged the match review committee’s finding.
Ghabar will still represent a client at the judiciary on Tuesday night as Panthers star Viliame Kikau contests a grade one dangerous throw charge, the same penalty levelled at Smith.
The Mid Gippsland Football Netball League (MGFNL) will accept the six Alberton Football Netball League clubs into its competition a year after rejecting a proposed merger.
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The league voted to accept the Fish Creek, Foster, Meeniyan Dumbalk United, Stony Creek, Tarwin and Toora clubs at its executive meeting last night.
The combined competition could have 15 teams, but two MGFNL clubs are considering moving to neighbouring competitions.
The Alberton league had struggled to stay afloat for in recent years after a number of clubs left the competition.
MGFNL spokesperson Rob Popplestone said the move was a big change, but would not result in the league changing its name.
“There’s safety in numbers,” he said.
“So for the future security of both leagues – Alberton in particular – we decided to merge.
“There won’t be any representation of Alberton within the name.
A key factor driving the opposition to the merger in 2019 was the distance separating the clubs from the two leagues.
For Mid Gippsland clubs in the Latrobe Valley, travelling to South Gippsland to face Alberton teams can take more than an hour.
But Mr Popplestone said he expected travel concerns would be alleviated once football resumed.
“It’s all new grounds for all teams and all clubs, and it’s a big challenge,” he said.
“At this stage we haven’t had the opportunity to play for almost a year, so we’ve still got another six months, but certainly there’ll be a lot of work between now and then done to make sure that 2021 is a successful season for everyone involved.”
The Yinnar and Hill End MGFNL clubs said they were happy with the league’s decision to accept the six Alberton clubs.
Yinnar netball vice-president Dee Buckley said her club was happy to accommodate the new teams.
“I think it’ll be a refreshing to see some new sides, she said.
Hill End director of football Clinton Morello said he hoped having more teams in the league would make it more competitive.
But two Mid Gippsland clubs are considering leaving the competition.
Trafalgar’s proposed move into the Ellinbank Football Netball League was rejected at last night’s MGFNL meeting, meaning it will have to appeal to AFL Gippsland if it still wants to pursue the move.
Yallourn-Yallourn North is planning to give members a vote on a proposed move into the North Gippsland Football Netball League.
After years of uncertainty, Fish Creek committee member Megan Vuillermin said she was happy the league’s future had been resolved.
“I think there will be a lot of people from Alberton clubs breathing a sigh of relief that we have a home next year,” Ms Vuillermin said.
“It’s been years and years of broken promises and not even knowing if we’ll get off the ground from year to year.”
She said the committees from the two leagues had looked at a potential draw and clubs would not have to travel large distances each week.
“Full House” actor Lori Loughlin must serve two months in prison and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, must serve five months for paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing recruits, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton accepted Loughlin’s plea deal with prosecutors in a hearing held via videconference because of the coronavirus pandemic after sentencing her husband in an earlier hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell said Loughlin wasn’t content with the advantages her children already had thanks to their wealth and “was focused on getting what she wanted, no matter how and no matter the cost.” He said prison time was was necessary to send a message that “everyone no matter your status is accountable in our justice system.”
Loughlin appeared calm, showing little emotion as her attorney BJ Trach said she is “profoundly sorry” for her actions. Trach said Loughlin has sought to repair her relationship with her daughters and has begun volunteering at a elementary school in LA with children with special needs.
In the first display of remorse either of them have made publicly over the fraud, Giannulli told the judge earlier Friday that he “deeply” regrets the harm that his actions have caused his daughters, wife and others.
“I take full responsibility for my conduct. I am ready to accept the consequences and move forward, with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience,” Giannulli said in a stoic statement.
In accepting Giannulli’s plea deal, Gorton said the prison terms are “sufficient but not greater than necessary punishment under the circumstances.” Gorton scolded Giannulli for what he described as “breathtaking fraud” made possible by his wealth and privilege.
“You were not stealing bread to feed your family. You have no excuse for your crime and that makes it all the more blameworthy,” the judge told Giannulli before officially sentencing him. Giannulli was ordered to surrender Nov. 19.
Under the plea deal, Giannulli will also pay a $250,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. Loughlin will pay a $150,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service. Unlike most plea agreements, in which the judge remains free to decide the defendant’s sentence, Loughlin’s and Giannulli’s proposed prison terms were binding once accepted.
The famous couple’s sentencing comes three months after they reversed course and admitted to participating in the college admissions cheating scheme that has laid bare the lengths to which some wealthy parents will go to get their kids into elite universities.
They are among nearly 30 prominent parents to plead guilty in the case, which federal prosecutors dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” It uncovered hefty bribes to get undeserving kids into college with rigged test scores or fake athletic credentials.
Loughlin and Giannulli had insisted for more than a year that they believed their payments were “legitimate donations” and accused prosecutors of hiding crucial evidence that could prove the couple’s innocence because it would undermine their case.
Their about-face came shortly after the judge rejected their bid to dismiss the case over allegations of misconduct by federal agents.
The case shattered the clean image of Loughlin, who gained fame for her role as the wholesome Aunt Becky in the sitcom “Full House” that ran from the late 1980s to mid-1990s, and later became queen of the Hallmark channel with her holiday movies and the series “When Calls the Heart.”
Other parents who’ve been sentenced to prison in the case have later urged the judge to allow them to serve their terms in home confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Gorton, known in the courthouse for handing out tough sentences, has denied such requests.
Before Friday, the couple had not made any public statements since their arrest and — unlike every other parent sentenced to far in the case — they did not submit letters expressing regret or notes of support from family and friends to the judge by the deadline, although the Gorton said he received two letters in support of Loughlin the day of the sentencing.
Prosecutors said Giannulli deserves a tougher sentence because he was “the more active participant in the scheme,” while Loughlin “took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit.”
The couple funneled money through a sham charity operated by Singer to get their two daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither was a rower, authorities said. Singer, who has also pleaded guilty, was expected to testify against them if they had gone to trial.
Investigators had recorded phone calls and emails showing the couple worked with Singer to get their daughters into USC with fake athletic profiles depicting them as star rowers. In one email, Singer told Loughlin and Giannulli he needed a picture of their older daughter on a rowing machine in workout clothes “like a real athlete.”
Prosecutors said the couple allowed the girls “to become complicit in crime,” instructing them to pose on rowing machines for photos and warning their younger daughter not too say too much to her high school counselor to avoid getting caught.
When the counselor began questioning their crew credentials, Giannulli angrily confronted the counselor and asked why he was “trying to ruin or get in the way of their opportunities,” the counselor wrote in notes detailed in court documents.
After the couple successfully bribed their younger daughter’s way into USC, Singer forwarded them a letter saying she was let in because of her “potential to make a significant contribution to the intercollegiate athletic program,” prosecutors wrote.
Loughlin responded: “This is wonderful news! (high-five emoji),” according to court filings.
Among the high-profile parents who have been sent to prison for participating in the scam is “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman. She served nearly two weeks behind bars late last year after she admitted to paying $15,000 to have someone correct her daughter’s entrance exam answers.
Joe Biden has vowed to end America’s “season of darkness” under Donald Trump as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination.
In a speech to end the Democratic Convention in Delaware, Mr Biden said the US president had “cloaked America in darkness for much too long”, accusing him of creating “too much anger, too much fear, too much division”.
“Here and now I give you my word, if you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst,” Mr Biden said.
“I’ll be an ally of the light, not our darkness.
“And make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”
The former US vice president to Barack Obama said he would represent all Americans if he wins the “life-changing” election in November.
“This is going to determine what America is going to look like for a long, long time,” he said.
“What we know about this president is that if he’s given four more years, he’ll be what he has been for the last four years – a president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cosies up to dictators, and fans the flames of hate and division.
“He’ll wake up every day believing the job is about him, never about you.”
He added: “I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cosying up to dictators are over.
“Under President Biden, America will not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers. Nor will I put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise – voting.”
Mr Biden also offered a withering assessment of his opponent’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with the US having the world’s highest recorded death toll from the virus.
“Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: he has failed to protect us,” he said.
Mr Biden said he decided to run after Mr Trump’s remark that there were “very fine people on both sides” in the wake of clashes involving white supremacists in Charlottesville three years ago.
“It was a wake-up call for us as a country,” he said.
“And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run. My father taught us that silence was complicity. And I could not remain silent or complicit.
“At the time, I said we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. And we are.”
During Mr Biden’s speech, Mr Trump responded by tweeting: “In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!”
The four-day Democratic Convention was held in Mr Biden’s home city of Wilmington at an empty arena due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At 77, he would be the oldest president ever elected if he defeats Mr Trump in November’s election.
WASHINGTON – Kamala Harris has made history night as the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major party’s presidential ticket.
In her highly anticipated address capping the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, Harris mixed her polish as a former prosecutor with deeply personal tales of her upbringing to argue that she and Joe Biden can rejuvenate a country ravaged by a pandemic and deeply divided by partisan bitterness.
Harris evoked the lessons of her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a biologist and Indian immigrant, saying Wednesday that she instilled in her a vision of “our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”
“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said. “We have got to do the work.”
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDNESDAY’S DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION:
— Democratic convention takeaways: Make history, pound Trump
— Harris makes history with vice-presidential acceptance speech
— Obama speaks at DNC from Museum of the American Revolution
— Hillary Clinton returns to DNC championing women in politics
— Democrats use Trump’s ‘It is what it is’ to make their case
Follow AP’s election coverage at https://apnews.com/Election2020
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
President Donald Trump offered a running angry commentary of the Democratic convention as top party officials laced into his leadership.
In all-caps missives, Trump took to Twitter to push back as former President Barack Obama accused him of “treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”
“HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT,” Trump tweeted falsely. Federal officials surveilled associates of Trump’s 2016 campaign through legally obtained court warrants as part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference.
“WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?” Trump added, referencing his predecessor’s decision to wait until the Democratic primary was largely wrapped up before throwing his weight behind Joe Biden.
Trump also untruthfully characterized Kamala Harris’ criticism of Biden, saying, “BUT DIDN’T SHE CALL HIM A RACIST??? DIDN’T SHE SAY HE WAS INCOMPETENT??” Harris specifically said Biden wasn’t racist, and she didn’t call him incompetent.
Some of the most influential women in Kamala Harris’ life are introducing her as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.
They are Harris’ younger sister, Maya Harris; her niece, Meena Harris; and her step-daughter, Ella Emhoff. Maya Harris has long been one of Harris’ closest political advisers.
Emhoff is the daughter of Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, and affectionately calls Harris “Momala.”
At Wednesday’s Democratic National Convention, Meena Harris called her aunt a role model who taught her she could do anything she wanted, and a role model to so many women and girls of colour around the world. Maya Harris says she’ll have Harris’ back the way Harris had hers as children growing up.
Kamala Harris has been formally nominated as Democrats’ pick for vice-president, becoming the first Black woman to do so for a major political party.
The 55-year-old California senator ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic presidential primary, dropping out months before the first votes were cast.
Joe Biden emerged on top of the once-crowded primary field, clinching the nomination and tapping Harris as his running mate last week.
By joining the party’s ticket, Harris also becomes just the third woman and first Asian-American to seek the vice presidency. She is a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.
A former state attorney general, Harris became close to Biden’s son Beau while he was attorney general of Delaware. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, and Harris was elected to the Senate the following year.
Former President Barack Obama has delivered a searing take down of Donald Trump while presenting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the ones who will “lead this country out of these dark times.”
Obama made the case for electing his former vice-president and Harris, a California senator, during a live address to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. He implored people to vote, arguing American democracy is at stake.
“This administration has shown that it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win,” Obama said, urging voters to “leave no doubt about what this country that we love stands for.”
Obama is among the headliners on the convention’s third night and is speaking before Harris. They are both barrier-breaking figures, he as the nation’s first Black president and Harris as the first Black woman on a major party ticket.
Former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says Joe Biden can hold his own on having a plan for nearly every policy challenge, large and small.
The Massachusetts senator said Wednesday night in her Democratic National Convention speech: “I love a good plan, and Joe Biden has some really good plans — plans to bring back union jobs in manufacturing and create new union jobs in clean energy.”
Warren spoke from an early education centre in Springfield, Massachusetts, and said Biden will guarantee affordable, quality child care for all families.
She says the pandemic has laid bare another central theme of her presidential campaign, that the nation’s economic system “has been rigged to give bailouts to billionaires and kick dirt in the face of everyone else.”
She says, “Joe’s plan to ‘build back better’ includes making the wealthy pay their fair share, holding corporations accountable, repairing racial inequities and fighting corruption in Washington.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is accusing President Donald Trump of “disrespect for facts, for working families and for women in particular,” disrespect she says she’s “seen firsthand.”
Pelosi spoke Wednesday night during the Democratic National Convention with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. She said Trump’s disrespect is “written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct.”
She contrasted Joe Biden as having a “heart full of love for America” against Trump’s “heartless disregard for America’s goodness.”
Pelosi also listed a litany of bills House Democrats have passed, including LGBTQ protections, gun violence measures and a coronavirus relief bill and charged that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump are “standing in the way” of those reforms.
She closed by predicting this fall that Democrats will increase their majority in the House and win back control of the Senate.
Hillary Clinton is reminding people of her 2016 loss despite winning 3 million more votes than Donald Trump as she urges Democrats not to sit the election out so he can’t “sneak or steal his way to victory.”
Addressing the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday from her home in Chappaqua, New York, Clinton says she hoped Trump would put his ego aside and be the president America needs, but that hasn’t happened.
Recalling a moment when Trump asked Black voters in 2016 what they had to lose by supporting him, Clinton said: “Now we know.”
Clinton says she knows about “the slings and arrows” that vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris will face as a Black woman on the ticket.
“Believe me: This former district attorney and attorney general can handle them all,” she added.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords is calling on Americans to speak out to combat gun violence, “even when you have to fight to find the words.”
Struggling to speak herself, Giffords recounted her difficulty recovering from the 2011 shooting that nearly took her life.
Giffords said during brief remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night: “Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination.”
The former congresswoman added: “Today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice.”
Since the shooting, Giffords has become a leading gun control advocate and frequently speaks out on the issue. She told viewers that Joe Biden was there for her after the shooting and that they must participate in the November election to be “on the right side of history.”
“We can let the shooting continue, or we can act,” she said, adding: “We can vote.”
Kamala Harris kicked off the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention by saying viewers may have heard “about obstacles and misinformation, and folks making it harder for you to cast your ballot.”
“I think we need to ask ourselves why don’t they want us to vote,” Harris said Wednesday. “When we vote, things get better. When we vote, we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in our country.”
She did not say what those possible obstacles were, but Democrats have accused President Donald Trump of deliberately trying to disrupt operations at the Postal Service in a year when more people are expected to vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Harris urged viewers to send a text message to the Biden campaign to receive information on how to vote and deadlines for obtaining mail-in ballots, which vary by state.
Later Wednesday, she is expected to accept the Democratic vice-presidential nomination.
President Donald Trump is pushing back against a reproach from former President Barack Obama, who is set to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Trump said in a Wednesday evening news conference that the reason he is now in the White House is because Obama and Joe Biden, his opponent this November, did not do a good job.
Trump said, “They did such a bad job that I stand before you as president.”
He said if they had done a good job, he wouldn’t have even run for president in 2016. He says, “I would have been very happy. I enjoyed my previous life very much.”
Excerpts of Obama’s remarks released ahead of Wednesday’s convention show he will portray his successor as having unleashed America’s “worst impulses” and treated the presidency as a reality show “to get the attention he craves.”
Kamala Harris plans to use her history-making speech at the virtual Democratic National Convention to say she will help Joe Biden promote “a vision of our nation as a beloved community – where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”
The California senator will become the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major party’s presidential ticket when she formally becomes Biden’s running mate with her address later Wednesday. Her party hopes the moment can galvanize Democratic voters heading into the fall campaign against President Donald Trump.
She will call on the country to elect a “president who will bring all of us together — Black, white, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want,” according to excerpts released beforehand. “We must elect Joe Biden.”
Harris also plans to criticize Trump, saying, “Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons.”
”Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose,” Harris will say.
Former President Barack Obama is set to implore voters to back his former vice-president for the nation’s top job, arguing that “our democracy” is on the line.
Obama will address the virtual Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Excerpts of his speech were released in advance.
Obama says President Donald Trump has “shown no interest in putting in the work” or “treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”
Convention organizers have titled the third night of their event “United America,” saying speakers will reflect Democrats’ argument that Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, can unify the country after a divisive four years under Trump.
Hillary Clinton is using her return to the Democratic National Convention to issue a stark warning about the 2020 election.
According to excerpts released Wednesday, Clinton plans to reflect in her speech on her 2016 election loss to President Donald Trump and urge Americans not to take the election’s outcome for granted.
She will say, “For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ‘I should have voted.’ Well, this can’t be another woulda coulda shoulda election.”
Four years after she made history as the first woman nominated for president by a major party, Clinton will nod to another enduring legacy: the millions of women inspired by her 2016 bid who marched, ran for office and have become a powerful force in taking on Trump.
Her presence Wednesday night comes as California Sen. Kamala Harris becomes the first Black woman to accept a spot on a major presidential ticket and one day after the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared visibly surprised upon receiving the Democrat Party’s nomination for the presidency during the second evening of the virtual Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.
Biden secured the necessary delegates during a virtual roll call. Featured speakers for the second night of the Democrat Party’s convention included former Secretary of State John Kerry, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
While holding a surgical mask in his left hand, Biden arose from a chair in what appeared to be a library with his wife, Jill Biden. Masked persons entered the area from the rear as Biden apparently watched a display of assorted people who applauded his nomination.
“Celebration” by Kool & The Gang played in the background. A masked lady wore a T-shirt with the message, “NO MALARKEY.”
Biden said, “Well, thank you very, very much from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all. It means the world to me and my family, and I’ll see you on Thursday. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Biden and his wife then placed masks on their faces as the segment ended.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.
Dylan Shiel will miss two matches for rough conduct over the bump that floored North Melbourne’s Curtis Taylor after the Essendon star was unsuccessful in appealing the severity of his suspension at the AFL tribunal.
The jury on Tuesday night agreed with the match review officer’s initial grading of the incident as careless conduct, high contact and high impact, and declared: “It was fortunate the consequences were not greater.”
Taylor played out the match on Saturday night after passing a concussion test and scans later cleared him of structural damage.
In an unusual hearing that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours, Essendon’s main argument centred around their belief that the impact grading should be reduced from high to medium or low.
Essendon’s legal counsel Adrian Anderson also raised an infamous incident from the 2017 preliminary final, where Shiel was hit high by Richmond’s Trent Cotchin.
Cotchin was cleared of wrongdoing, playing in the Tigers’ premiership the following week, and Shiel said that incident had changed the way he contests the ball to focus more on protecting himself.
In a last-ditch attempt to reduce the ban, Essendon called on Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams to provide a character reference for Shiel.
Williams was one of Shiel’s coaches at Greater Western Sydney and his daughter is the player’s long-term partner.
But the jury made up of former AFL players Stephen Jurica, Shane Wakelin and David Neitz was ultimately comfortable with the bump’s high impact grading and the two-match ban.
The jury made note of the bump’s potential to cause injury, Taylor’s vulnerable position, Shiel arriving at the contest at speed, the significant force involved and the fact Taylor was tested for concussion.
Shiel will now miss Essendon’s meetings with the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide before he is available for selection again in round nine.
Earlier on Tuesday night, St Kilda’s Ben Long pleaded guilty to a rough conduct charge over the bump that concussed Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy and was banned for three matches.
The 22-year-old did not contest the careless conduct, high impact and severe impact grading of the incident, but argued Darcy quickly dropping to his knees had contributed to the high contact.
Both the AFL and St Kilda agreed three weeks was an appropriate penalty.
Darcy was concussed by Long’s bump and played no further part in the match on Saturday, which was won in dramatic fashion by the Dockers.
The Dockers’ medical report the day after the match also noted Darcy had mild ongoing neck pain and concussion symptoms.
The ruckman is in doubt for Fremantle’s clash with cross-town rivals West Coast on Sunday.
Long will miss the Saints’ meetings with Adelaide and Port Adelaide in South Australia next week, as well as a round nine fixture that has not yet been scheduled.