Collingwood fans have copped it around the AFL world over their response to Brayden Maynard's sickening hit on Angus Brayshaw in Thursday night's qualifying final between the Magpies and Demons at the MCG. Brayshaw was knocked unconscious and had to be taken from the field on a medicab after collecting the shoulder of Maynard, who had been attempting to smother a kick from his rival.
Maynard jumped in the air to try and smother Brayshaw's kick, before tucking his shoulder and bracing himself for contact with Brayshaw. Maynard's shoulder hit Brayshaw flush in the head, leaving the Melbourne player unconscious on the ground.
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Debate has erupted over whether Maynard should be suspended or not, with the majority of commentators suggesting there wasn't anything else he could have done and it was simply an accident. But the actions of Collingwood supporters in attendance at the MCG left many with a sour taste in their mouths.
With Brayshaw lying prone on the ground and receiving attention from trainers, the majority of Magpies fans in attendance decided it would be a good time to start a 'Collingwood' chant. They also loudly cheered and applauded Maynard every time he got the ball thereafter, although that appeared to be in response to the fact Demons fans were booing him.
One person who was in attendance claimed a number of Pies fans mocked Brayshaw by making crying faces as he left the field. "Collingwood fans starting the Collingwood chant while Brayshaw getting put on the stretcher… says enough about that club," one person wrote on social media.
Another commented: "As a neutral I’m not sure Maynard could’ve done much. What I didn’t like was Collingwood fans choosing to start their Collingggggggwood chant when Brayshaw is lying knocked out cold. Read the room, there’s a time and place and I don’t think that’s it."
Absolute disgusting behaviour from the Collingwood cheer squad. Doing crying faces to Brayshaw whilst he was down. Ferals, no other words.
— Davros (@noobdaddy) September 7, 2023
I'll just add before I get off this app, Collingwood doing their "coooooooollingwoooood" chant before the stretcher was even loaded, let alone taken off the ground, was wankerish. Could've read the moment a bit better and showed some respect to the bloke but ah well #AFLPiesDees
— TheRichmondRecruiter (@Cal_UpTheTigs) September 7, 2023
And then cheered the fog for the rest of the match. Absolute filth.
— 💧Kat Oxley💧 (@kat_71) September 7, 2023
Collingwood fans starting the Collingwood chant while Brayshaw getting put on the stretcher… says enough about that club! #AFLPiesDees
— liam kelly 2021 🏆😈 (@liamkelly05) September 7, 2023
— will (@will_footy) September 7, 2023
— Axoplasmic Gap (@axoplasmicgap) September 7, 2023
I'm a Melbourne supporter and was sitting in the crowd near the cheer squad and it was absolutely disgusting
— Tash (@duzon84) September 7, 2023
And for those Collingwood fans doing the Collingwood chant as a Melbourne player laid stricken on the ground, may you sleep well. Absolutely embarrassing.
— David Coutts (@dccoutta) September 7, 2023
Brayden Maynard plays down Angus Brayshaw incident
Speaking after Collingwood's 9.6 (60) to 7.11 (53) victory that sent them straight through to the preliminary final, Maynard insisted the incident with Brayshaw was a "footy act". He told Channel 7: "I don't want to say too much, but it's a footy act. I came forward, I jumped to smother the ball and yeah, unfortunately I just got him on the way down.
"So I don't know. We'll have to wait and see what happens. But it's all love. I absolutely love that guy to bits. So yeah, it's shattering what happened." Maynard was seen expressing his concern for Brayshaw while he was on the ground, and then again as he was being taken from the field.
maynard has stuck with brayshaw that whole time pic.twitter.com/ZaC85M7h9l
— Swoop Luke (@SwoopLuke) September 7, 2023
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said Brayshaw was "shattered" and won't play in next week's semi-final against the winner of Carlton's clash with Sydney. "He's upset," Goodwin said.
"He's obviously had a history with concussion a long time ago so he's obviously dealing with some emotion there. But he wants to play finals footy. He's going to be missing for a few weeks and it's disappointing." The 27-year-old Brayshaw has worn head-gear ever since suffering four concussions in the space of 12 months, which saw him take an extended break from the game in 2017.
Maynard has been sent straight to the AFL Tribunal and is facing a ban of at least three weeks. But the general consensus from commentators and pundits was that it was an accident.
“Maynard plays on the edge but in my view, there’s nothing in this because there’s a duty of care to yourself to protect yourself as you come to land,” Patrick Dangerfield said on Channel 7. “There's nothing in this for me. Unfortunately in this game, there’s contact that occurs. He can’t protect himself in that position either (Maynard). He’s at the mercy of the oncoming player.”
Matthew Richardson said: “He’s jumped in the air to smother, he then cannot avoid contact. What else can he do?”
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