'Someone is going to die': Legend's dire warning to AFL

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, legendary AFL coach Kevin Sheedy.
Kevin Sheedy fears for the safety of players if the AFL doesn't do more to protect against head knocks. Pic: Getty

Kevin Sheedy says the horror incident that ended Brad Ebert's AFL career should come as a stark warning for the AFL.

The legendary coach insists the game needs to do more when it comes to protecting players from head knocks, and the myriad long-term effects associated with them.

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Sheedy admits that marks from the likes of Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt have become legendary, where the player has eyes only for the footy.

But when those types of plays go wrong, the ramifications can be catastrophic and the 72-year-old coaching great admits he has grave concerns that it could result in the death of a player.

“We don‘t need a death in our game,” Sheedy told the Herald Sun.

“We are not ready for that and we don‘t want it, so we have to protect the players from themselves.

Seen here, Brad Ebert is helped off the field for Port Adelaide against Richmond in the 2020 AFL finals.
Brad Ebert called time on his career in 2020 after a nasty concussion against Richmond. Pic: Getty

“If we lost someone it would send a cyclonic tsunami through the ranks and the flow-on impact at all levels of the game would be enormous.

“I don‘t know how we can change this, but the onus is on the AFL to at least look at it before someone dies.

“I am talking about the incident that ended Brad Ebert‘s career. I am talking about those crazy marks from Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt.

“We admire the courage of those players, but sooner or later, someone is going to die.”

Ebert career ended after latest head knock

Sheedy's stark warning came after Port Adelaide's Ebert called time on his AFL career after a sickening incident in this year's preliminary final loss to Richmond.

Ebert's 260-game career ended from a nasty concussion suffered after his head hit the ground, following a collision with Jack Riewoldt.

The Port Adelaide star said he knew immediately afterwards that the incident would spell an end to his time in the game.

"I’ve lived out my childhood dream, playing for two amazing clubs in West Coast and now Port Adelaide but the time is right to retire and move on to what’s next in life," Ebert said after announcing his retirement in October.

"The number of head knocks and concussions have left me with no other choice and after medical advice, I feel that now is the time to put my health and my family first and leave the game."

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