Brisbane Lions under fire over comment about Dayne Zorko sledge

Dayne Zorko, pictured here after his sledge left Harrison Petty in tears.
Dayne Zorko's sledge left Harrison Petty in tears. Image: Channel 7/Getty

Brisbane Lions football boss Danny Daly has come under fire over a comment in the wake of Dayne Zorko's sledge that left Harrison Petty in tears.

Petty broke down in tears during the three-quarter time break on Friday night after being sledged by Zorko in Melbourne's win over Brisbane.

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On Sunday night, Mark Robinson of the Herald Sun reported that Zorko's sledge "was something like this: 'I hope your mother dies'."

Zorko apologised to Petty on Saturday, admitting that he lost control of his emotions, and the AFL said it will not pursue the matter further after both clubs addressed the incident between themselves.

Daly was among those to counsel Zorko in the aftermath of the incident, and on Monday said the skipper wouldn't face any sanctions from above.

"Zorks has done a great job for this club over the last four years, leading us out of the wilderness," he told RadioTab.

"Not ideal what unfolded on Friday night, he's quite sorry for it and still emotional about it all.

"We haven't discussed it (stripping the captaincy) ... that's more a thing for next year when our leadership vote happens, as it normally does every year."

Daly also told SEN radio: “The club addressed the issue with Melbourne on Friday night straight after the game, the club made a statement on Saturday morning and that’s where it sits.

“To be perfectly honest, our goal right now is to make sure Dayne is okay from a mental health perspective.

“He’s spent a weekend at home on his own with his partner working through it, but from a club perspective, we’ve put it to bed and Melbourne accepted our apology on Saturday and that’s where it lies.

“We’re just making sure Dayne is going okay, that’s what we need to do as a football club. He came out and apologised on Saturday … from a mental health perspective we just need to make sure he’s going okay.

“That’s all we’ve done, it hasn’t gone any higher at this stage. Everyone had the weekend off, returned to work today and see what today brings for us.”

Dayne Zorko, pictured here after Brisbane's loss to Melbourne.
Dayne Zorko looks on after Brisbane's loss to Melbourne. (Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Uproar over Brisbane's comments about Dayne Zorko

However some fans and pundits took exception to Daly's comments about making sure Zorko was okay considering he isn't the victim in this situation.

Sports editor Adam Hill tweeted: "Absurd that the bloke who said the words in question is now being treated as the victim..."

Another fan wrote: "Shouldn't it be if Harrison is ok???? He is the victim after all."

Addressing the incident on Saturday, Zorko sad: "I have apologised to Harrison for the inappropriate comment I made to him last night.

"I'm remorseful for my actions and take full responsibility for the hurt caused to Harrison, his family and the Melbourne Football Club.

"In reflection, I understand I need to be a better leader, and have spoken with the club who have reinforced this."

Zorko is no stranger to post-match incidents with opponents after two run-ins with Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller in the past.

Zorko snubbed a handshake offer extended by Miller after the first Queensland derby in 2019, before delivering a verbal barrage at the Suns midfielder in the return fixture that year before bizarrely following him around the field with his hand extended after a brief post-game handshake.

with AAP

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