Waleed Aly has poked fun at the controversy surrounding his involvement in an AFL tribunal case by dramatically storming out of an interview with hard-hitting journalist, er...Waleed Aly! Watch the moment in the video below.
The Project host was asked by Richmond player Bachar Houli to provide a character reference as he faced the tribunal for a striking charge against Carlton's Jed Lamb during the team's Round 14 match on Sunday.
The 38-year-old explained his involvement with the case, saying: "I got a call Monday night, [Houli] asked me if I would be prepared to be a character reference for him because the lawyers running the case said they thought it would be useful to have some.”
He continued: “I thought about it that night, I wrote it, sent it to them, that was the end of my involvement.”
After this explanation, Waleed was then further questioned by one of the panel’s toughest interviewers – himself.
After Waleed the interviewer accused himself of being “evasive”, Waleed the interviewee became “annoyed”.
“I’m not doing this,” he ranted, pulling out his earpiece and standing up from the desk. “This guy’s a jerk!”
The joke was a response to the controversy surrounding Waleed and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's involvement in the case, with critics arguing that a player’s off-field life has nothing to do with on-field behaviour, and that a character reference shouldn’t affect the tribunal’s decision.
Houli initially received a two-match ban for the strike, which left Lamb injured and unable to play the remainder of the game.
But in a historic move the AFL has appealed its own tribunal’s decision, saying the suspension was “manifestly inadequate”.
"I want to stress that the AFL takes impact to the head extremely seriously," AFL football operations manager Simon Lethlean said on Wednesday.