AFL great turned media commentator David King has heavily criticised the AFL’s Match Review Officer after two nasty incidents in round 8 which he believes highlights the league’s inconsistency in protecting players from concussion.
MRO Michael Christian handed Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne his second fine this season for a sling tackle on Sydney’s James Rowbottom, following an earlier controversy surrounding a similar tackle on Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield earlier in the season.
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King was perplexed by the decision, particularly in light of a rule introduced mid-season regarding dangerous tackles that were likely to cause injury.
“Totally lost control with this rule, we have lost control of anything related to the head. I don’t know how many times we talk about this,” King said on Fox Footy program The First Crack.
“Anything that can possibly cause head trauma, not necessarily concussion, head trauma. We have to stamp out of the game. This player, forget that it is Shaun Burgoyne and he has been a ball player for 350 games.
“This same player has done the same action in the same season and gets a fine. How are we accepting this?”
David King concerned over Daniel McStay, Neville Jetta
The former North Melbourne champion was equally concerned about Brisbane Lions defender Daniel McStay’s careless bump on Melbourne’s Neville Jetta.
McStay is awaiting the MRO’s verdict, after he collected Jetta in the shoulder and neck when the Melbourne star had picked up the ball on during their match on Sunday.
King said Jetta was ‘millimetres from a wheelchair’ thanks to McStay’s careless act and urged for a serious sanction to be handed down to the Lions’ young gun, warning that letting potentially devastating head injuries go unchecked could wind up costing the league financially if players felt they were nont appropriately looked after.
“This my point. That is millimetres from a wheelchair. It is,” he said.
“The top of the head, the neck gets compressed, you’re in all sorts of problems. What are we waiting for with this sort of stuff?
“I don’t know how many times we need to say this, if you think COVID has cost us a fortunate in terms of the game. You wait until concussion issues rear their head with past players, it will cost the game a truck load.
“We have to stop this occurrence now.”