Port Adelaide may sue Chanel Seven due to their coverage of midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper at an Adelaide nightclub, which led to a sexual assault investigation.
Powell-Pepper was suspended after Chanel Seven televised the incident and has missed the Power’s last two matches.
Power chief executive Keith Thomas has launched an attack on the major network, claiming they tarnished his reputation and created an unfair stigma on the young gun.
“We believe that set the tone for the entire investigation,” Thomas told reporters on Thursday.
“Having viewed the evidence, it way over-played the incident.
“The investigation was immediately on the back foot, it was dealing with a public perception that was being created and not controlled.
“A charge like that can leave a stain on someone’s reputation and life forever.”
Thomas said Port Adelaide and the AFL’s integrity unit both looked through several hours of CCTV footage from the nightclub.
“The AFL integrity unit did view the vision, they had two investigators that they sent out and they viewed that.
“They have a very clear understanding of what that vision looks like.”
Thomas did not rule out the club taking legal action against Channel Seven.
“We would reserve all of our rights in this case,” he said.
“We think this has been way overplayed.
“Channel 7 Adelaide set the tone for the investigation and we’ll be discussing that with them.”
“If you start getting into what is deemed to be ‘inappropriate contact’, then you draw into a discussion on both sides and we felt that was just not a productive space to get into,” Thomas said.
“Sam certainly wasn’t feeling that he wanted to do that.
“What we were keen on, was ensuring that people understood the difference between what happened and sexual assault was vast, and that’s an important distinction.”