Gold Coast Suns coach Damien Hardwick stirred controversy with an expletive-laden outburst during a scathing post-match press conference following the Suns' narrow four-point loss to North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
Despite the colourful language, the AFL has decided to take no action against Hardwick, though the incident has added scrutiny to the coach who has been vocal about various issues since joining the Suns.

The frustration was evident as the Suns failed once again to secure an away victory, a persistent issue for the team throughout their 14 year history, let alone 2024 season.

Hardwick, seemingly attempting to motivate his squad, said "as a footy club we've got to grow the f--- up, to be perfectly honest. Excuse the language.”

The loss was not only lambasted externally, but compounded further by injuries to key players; co-captain Touk Miller left the game with a wrist injury, with concerns that of a potential break or fracture, which could sideline him for three to four weeks.

Additionally, forward Sam Day suffered a plantar fascia issue, further depleting the Suns' lineup as they prepare for a crucial stretch of games against Port Adelaide, GWS Giants, and Brisbane.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Touk Miller of the Suns kicks on goal during the 2022 AFL Round 01 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast Suns at Optus Stadium on March 20, 2022 In Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Despite the harsh words, Hardwick's message resonates with the need for the Suns to finals-worthy performance and consistency away from Carrara.

"We've been in this situation too many times and it's up to me and the match committee to get our boys going," he stated.

Hardwick believes wearing the Suns jumper requires a certain standard of play, which the team has not consistently met.

The Suns coach did apologise for his choice of words but maintained the necessity of his message.

"At the moment, we're not where we need to be and it's reflective on me as a coach, us as an organisation, so we've got to demand better."

Gold Coast has checked in with the AFL to explain the context of Hardwick's outburst, with the league deciding against taking disciplinary action.

Speaking on AFL Media's Footy Feed Extra, EGM Laura Kane confirmed that Hardwick will not be fined.

"The Gold Coast were proactive and I spoke to them immediately after the press conference," Kane said.

"We clearly don't encourage that type of language or behaviour in our press conferences but the game's passionate. I think what we saw was a passionate coach.

"He's invested in his players and we've addressed it with the Gold Coast and there'll be no further action for Damien or the club.

"No fine."

The incident, while somewhat humorous, underscores the urgency for the Suns to finally step up and deliver in the final stretch of the season, assisted by a glaring chance to claim an away scalp against Richmond in the lead up to a hopeful September run.