Patrick Dangerfield has slammed "d---heads" who bait AFL players to gain a reaction they can then post on social media.
The AFL Players Association president has leapt to the defence of Richmond pair Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli, who were involved in a nightclub fight on the weekend.
Bolton fractured his wrist when he stepped in to help premiership teammate Rioli during an altercation at a Melbourne nightclub and will miss up to three weeks.
Richmond believe Rioli's girlfriend Paris Lawrence was "subjected to inappropriate behaviour" before the forward was punched in the face, leaving him with a black eye.
Dangerfield, the injured Geelong superstar, said players deserved to be able to enjoy themselves without being harassed.
"The challenges are, especially when you go out and you let your hair down after a stressful week, you're dealing with d***heads that pull out their phones at a nightclub and are just trying to film something on social media," Dangerfield told SEN.
"They're looking for a reaction. You're on a highway to nothing as a player.
"We've got to treat our players like adults and they've got to be able to enjoy themselves but you do deal with members of the general public that are out there for nothing but trouble.
"I really sympathise with the boys because they're in a really difficult situation where something inappropriate happens to a partner, and maybe with wiser heads you might react differently but that's easy to say from the grandstand.
"It's a different thing in the heat of the moment where you're like 'this is crap, this is inappropriate, I'm not dealing with this'."
Richmond have opted against sanctioning Bolton, 22 and Rioli, 24, for the incident.
The AFL integrity unit is investigating the matter.