During the past week, player number 35 from the Geelong Cats took to social media to express his thoughts on the rules of the AFL.
And it was not too much of a stretch to suggest that the words used also were intended as a message for the umpires of the game.
"Contact below the knees..absolute disgrace. #AFLPiesEagles". The intervention drew more than 2000 likes and 179 of the good folk in the Twittersphere saw fit to retweet it.
Apparently not satisfied with making that point, he followed up with "Don't put your head over the ball kids. Lower and harder.. na not anymore". That cracked another 1600 likes and 162 retweets.
Not the biggest reactions by far to tweets from a sportsman of note but significant simply because it happened and because this is not just any number 35 - it's Patrick Dangerfield.
As it happens the first commentary in response to Dangerfield over the rules suggested the biggest voice in the game should fix it.
It was a poignant observation - and one which perhaps unintentionally reflected why Dangerfield should never have made such a public intervention in the first place. Particularly so when he moves on from peer commentary to direct his thoughts to young fans.
The Cats star is not only the president of the AFL players association, but he is also a member of the sport's competition committee. He has ample avenues available to him to make any point he wants about the rules and their implementation without social media.
As his first respondent pointed out Dangerfield is a highly influential figure in the game. He's earned that through his brilliant skills and deeds, and at least until now a generally responsible approach to his place in the game beyond the field.
Once on that pedestal, he becomes powerful and like it or not - a role model.
He was not alone. Another influential Cat - Cameron Ling - was already on board and provided the catalyst for the second Dangerfield tweet with his own thoughts.
But what was perhaps more disturbing is that it may have sent a signal to lesser lights amongst the player cohort in the game to feel free to publicly express their views as well.
Hawthorn's James Sicily is a fraction accident-prone. Posting on social media on Thursday that there were a lot of missed free kicks during the games between the Swans and Demons was surely another strike.
If he felt empowered because his union leader was doing the same thing, then it's also a strike against Dangerfield. The timing might suggest it was - because Sicily doesn't appear to have tweeted a word for the previous nine months.
Personally as a sport's official, I am not precious about public criticism from participants. I have garnered enough over time including as it happens in recent weeks. Especially in sports where there is nothing formally laid down restricting an athlete's right to have a crack - other than when it reaches the point of bringing the sport into disrepute
But I don't reckon it should ever come from a participant who is part of or with direct access to the rule making process. And especially so in a game like Australian Rules football.
The rules are unbelievably complex compared to other codes - particularly contrasted with a more black and white game like soccer.
Top-level AFL umpires are way too often in the firing line. They are apparently accused of over-umpiring the game in 2019 - yet the average number of frees per game so far is in the middle rank of the last ten years.
In some ways umpiring of an AFL match makes it more like a judged sport rather than one refereed on solely objective considerations. It's also damn hard to get a clear view of everything.
Accordingly there will be misses and errors in most games. That needs to be accepted by everyone.
Now there is the further overlay on the rules which makes player health and safety such a primary consideration. That's absolutely appropriate and is here to stay. It means more than ever we need to give the rule makers and umpires a fair break.