North Melbourne sacks Tarryn Thomas after 18-game ban from AFL

North Melbourne's Tarryn Thomas has been sacked by North Melbourne.

North Melbourne's Tarryn Thomas has been sacked by North Melbourne. Photo: Getty

North Melbourne has sacked Tarryn Thomas after he was suspended for 18 games by the AFL for threatening a woman and other misconduct.

Thomas was investigated by the AFL’s integrity unit after the latest in a string of allegations were made in January.

The AFL found Thomas guilty of various acts of misconduct, including threatening a woman via direct messages multiple times.

“There is no excuse for the behaviour or the hurt he caused a young woman, this is never OK,” the AFL’s general counsel Stephen Meade said in a statement on Thursday.

“The fact that Tarryn chose to engage in behaviour over direct messages that was, and is, clearly inappropriate, even while he was undertaking education and being counselled for previous breaches, contributed to the length of suspension imposed.”

Thomas, who has not trained with his club since January 17, was due to fall off contract at the end of the upcoming season.

But North has terminated the 23-year-old’s contract, effective immediately.

“The club has provided Tarryn with significant time, resources and support but we’ve now arrived at a point where the individual’s needs don’t match those of the club,” North’s chief executive Jennifer Watt said in a statement.

“We know Tarryn needs help – for himself and for the women in his life – but it’s clear the path we’ve taken over the past 12 months hasn’t had the desired impact.

“To that end, we have made the decision to end Tarryn’s time at North Melbourne.

“This decision doesn’t come lightly or easily.

“We brought Tarryn to the club as a teenager and we acknowledge that he has faced complex and challenging circumstances over his life.

“We hope Tarryn will find the support that is right for him and that he does the work required to be the best version of himself.”

North will continue to make available medical and mental health support to Thomas.

Last year, amid separate allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women, the club put Thomas through a respect and responsibility education program.

He completed the program and returned to the club via the Kangaroos’ VFL ranks before earning an AFL recall and playing the last 12 games of the season.

Also last year, in July, Thomas avoided a criminal conviction from a court appearance for threatening to distribute intimate videos of his former partner.

The initial charge was downgraded to using a carriage service to harass someone.

Thomas was granted a diversion and ordered to pay $1000 to charity.

The AFL on Thursday said for Thomas to return to playing at any level, he must undertake – and pay for – another behavioural change program.

That program would need to be approved by the AFL, which would seek assurances of Thomas’ progress before clearing any return to the sport.


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