Footy player's partner goes dark after ‘vile’ abuse
Brooke Cotchin has become the latest AFL figure to reveal she has been the victim of a series of "vile" social media attacks following her day spa quarantine breach.
The wife of Richmond star Trent Cotchin, who has travelled to Queensland with the couple's three children to support her husband, was busted by the AFL breaching the league's strict biosecurity protocols after posting an image of her visit to a day spa on the Gold Coast.
The visit was in breach of the isolation hub that players and clubs have agreed to as part of the agreement with the Queensland Government that has allowed the 2020 AFL season to continue.
The AFL investigated Brooke's visit and the league announced her day of pampering has cost the Richmond Football Club $45,000, with $25,000 suspended.
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Cotchin showed incredible class in the aftermath of the scandal as she and her husband offered to pay for the fine and issued a public apology on Instagram.
Her apology also included a brave show of support for stood down AFL reporter Mitch Cleary, who was reinstated after posting Cotchin's deleted Instagram post of her day spa trip to his Twitter account.
"I wish to apologise for the mistake I have made and I am deeply sorry for any angst that I have created for anyone. It was an honest mistake and one that I am incredibly remorseful for," Cotchin posted to Instagram.
"I am the first to admit I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes, this being one that I need to own and learn from."
Now, for the first time, Cotchin has revealed the horror truth behind why she has not posted to her 36,000 Instagram followers since that apology on August 3.
View this post on Instagram
I know I am opening myself up by sharing this post, but I am hoping this helps answer a few questions for people. I wish to apologise for the mistake I have made and I am deeply sorry for any angst that I have created for anyone. It was an honest mistake and one that I am incredibly remorseful for. I am the first to admit I am not perfect, and I do make mistakes, this being one that I need to own and learn from. Yes, we are currently living by AFL protocols whilst being tested twice a week. I had well and truly completed my 2 weeks quarantine when I attended a licensed medical facility for a treatment. I would never have attended nor posted on my social media if I was clear this was not abiding by AFL protocol. We decided as a family to move into the hub so we could help the AFL push through with the remainder of the season. We are incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to be together through this time as I know many people do not have that choice. I don’t know Mitch Cleary, but I do not agree with him being stood down and I have voiced that to the AFL. It is his job and it does not help anyone’s situation especially in current circumstances. Unfortunately, I had no input and it is something that is out of my control. I thank you all for your comments and private messages, good and bad. I have read every single one of them. We have not publicised that we are paying the fine, as we did not think it was necessary. I am hoping that this post helps explain things and puts a few minds at peace knowing that this was my mistake, which I accept total responsibility for. I send all my love and strength to everyone back at home. We can only imagine the challenges that everybody is facing right now ♥️
"It was a really hard time for not only me but our family,'' Cotchin said.
"I was in a very bad place for a little while and it took some time to dig myself out.
"Dealing with the lengths of the online bullying was and is something I am learning to try and block out. Some of the vile comments and personal messages were gut wrenching and it breaks my heart that people deal with this on a daily basis.
"It blows my mind how nasty people can be.
"I just can't even imagine taking the time to send such horrible messages to someone nor would it ever cross my mind to, no matter what they did."
Cotchin will remain in the AFL's Queensland hub until the end of the 2020 season, which could see her separated from her extended family in Victoria through to the AFL Grand Final on October 24.
The couple's children Harper, 5, Mackenzie, 4, and Parker, 1, will also remain in their new Queensland home for as long as the Tigers remain unable to return home to Victoria.
The Tigers have been subjected to disgusting abuse on social media in recent months with Cotchin's teammates Dylan Grimes and Nick Vlastuin this week going public to name and shame the accounts that sent them disgusting messages of abuse following Richmond's win over Essendon in Darwin.
Two men have been arrested over the alleged death threats sent to the players.
Originally published as AFL WAG goes dark after 'vile' abuse