Jordan De Goey dari Collingwood diskors selama tiga pertandingan karena menabrak Elijah Hewett

Maynard decision will split opinion, AFL concedes, while accepting tribunal’s not guilty verdict

The AFL has conceded the Brayden Maynard tribunal decision “will not sit well with everyone” while accepting the not guilty verdict.

Key points:

An AFL statement says it accepts the tribunal’s verdict, though it wasn’t the outcome the league hoped for
The statement said Aussie Rules’ “uniqueness as a contact sport” involves risk of head injury occurring
Maynard was cleared to play at a marathon tribunal hearing after a collision with Angus Brayshaw

Maynard was cleared of a rough conduct charge by the tribunal in a marathon hearing on Tuesday night, allowing him to play in Collingwood’s preliminary final next week.

Maynard was facing a three-game suspension for an incident that left Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw unconscious and concussed.

Collingwood’s legal team successfully argued Maynard’s actions were not unreasonable despite the catastrophic result to Brayshaw.

The AFL had a deadline of 12pm on Wednesday to appeal the tribunal’s decision, but opted against it.

“The incident on Thursday night between Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw generated passionate debate and the AFL understands that the outcome of this case will not sit well with everyone who watches and plays our game,” an AFL statement read.

“No one likes to see a player suffer a serious concussion as Angus Brayshaw did and also see the impact the incident had on him, his family and friends, his teammates and his club.

Angus Brayshaw was knocked out in the incident with Brayden Maynard.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

“Our game’s uniqueness as a contact sport, while celebrated, involves risk of some high contact occurring.

“The decision to refer the incident to the tribunal was made so the unusual circumstances of this high contact incident could be closely examined, and a thorough and independent process could be run.

“Whilst the tribunal’s decision was not the outcome the AFL sought when it issued its match review findings, the AFL respects the reasoning of the tribunal panel in arriving at its decision.

“The health and safety of players in our game will always be the AFL’s priority and regardless of the tribunal outcome this incident will be subject to close examination at the end of the season.

“The AFL has actively taken action to minimise the incidence of concussion in our game and has continued to make considered decisions to protect the health and safety of our athletes, including by making further rule changes to deter avoidable forceful head high contact in our game as has been done in over 30 instances over the past two decades.”



Author: Russell White