Chris Scott can understand why a group of Geelong players went to a party at Mark Blicavs' house in contravention of government coronavirus measures, but says it was still a grave mistake.
Blicavs apologised on Thursday for his actions after being roundly criticised for hosting the get-together.
The Cats utility held the gathering, which continued into the early hours of Monday morning, just hours after the AFL season was suspended on Sunday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned against such gatherings and pleaded for people to take self-distancing seriously as efforts to stop the spread of the virus are stepped up.
"In times of crisis the right thing is not always really obvious," Cats coach Scott said of the incident that occurred after the team arrived home from their round one loss to GWS in Sydney.
"Sometimes decisions are going to be made that in the fullness of time end up being analysed as errors.
"And those errors are going to continue ... our players have made some already.
"Some of our players were thinking, 'We've spent the weekend away together in Sydney in a hotel room, played together, got on a plane together, travelled from the airport in a bus together' and then a few of them went to a house together.
"Their logic in the moment was that, 'What we're doing is not any different to what we have been doing over the last couple of days'.
"I know for a fact now that they would look back on the perception of that behaviour and the leadership role that is expected of us in the community (and realise) that was a grave mistake."
Blicavs said he was sorry for hosting the party and would learn from the situation.
"This is a huge issue confronting all of us at the moment and one I did not take as serious as I should be taking," he wrote on social media.
"The worst thing I can do is make the same mistake. I plan to learn from this!
"Stay safe and love to everyone doing it far tougher than I am."
Scott hasn't ruled out sanctions for Blicavs, a co-vice-captain at the club, and other players present.
But he said now was not the time.
"I think it is right to be hard on those who make mistakes, but they shouldn't be completely vilified in this situation because it's an incredibly difficult time," Scott told SEN.
"I understand the emotion and I understand the temptation to get angry at people and see them punished for it, and maybe there will be a time for that."