The two-match ban handed to GWS Giants player Sam Reid for his high hit on Fremantle rival Nat Fyfe has been slammed as a 'paltry penalty' by AFL great Tim Watson.
Reid was charged with engaging in rough conduct against Fyfe during the Giants' 31-point loss to the Dockers in Perth.
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The utility was offered a two-match suspension for the incident that was graded careless conduct, high impact and high contact.
The impact left Fyfe with a concussion, and the two-match ban for Reid left an irate Watson not convinced that the AFL and Match Review Officer (MRO) were doing enough to protect players from head trauma by appropriately sanctioning such incidents.
Fyfe must sit out round three under the league's newly introduced concussion guidelines.
“The (MRO) and by extension the AFL, are hypocrites,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“On one hand they are saying the head is sacrosanct — ‘We’ll do everything we can to protect the players’ heads out on the ground’. And then when given the opportunity to show how seriously they take concussion, head knocks and the potential for CTE, they baulk and hand out a paltry two week penalty.
“When will we take this seriously? I could argue what Reid did was more an act of footy violence than Patrick Dangerfield. He deserved a greater penalty than Patrick Dangerfield.
“Fyfe was completely passive. He was not expecting contact at that time. It knocked him off his feet, he was out to it. It was a sickening sight.
“No-one knows now though what damage Fyfe will carry forward, and when he will feel well enough to train fully again."
GWS Giants accept Sam Reid Ban
Reid and the Giants accepted the penalty on Tuesday.
Giants football manager Jason McCartney had earlier argued that Reid only saw Fyfe at the last moment and braced for contact, as opposed to deliberately laying a bump.
"Sam maintains he never saw Nat and only braced for impact at the last second," he said.
"However, we understand that Nat did suffer a concussion as a result of the incident.
"Once the incident was classified as a bump rather than a brace, our advice was that there were limited options for us to challenge the suspension successfully.
"We understand the increased and necessary focus on any incidents that cause concussion or head-high contact."
The ban comes a week after Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield was given a three-game suspension for his high bump on Adelaide's Jake Kelly.
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