‘Duty of care’ call questioned in Maynard debate

As Brayden Maynard and Collingwood prepare for their AFL tribunal hearing, his former coach has weighed in on the biggest debate in the game.

AFL: Collingwood supporters have come under fire for the distasteful timing of their infamous ‘Collingwood’ chant, as Angus Brayshaw lay concussed on the ground.

The Collingwood defender has been sent directly to the tribunal after leaving Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw unconscious by collecting him with a shoulder to the head at the MCG last Thursday night after leaping in the air to smother a kick.

Brayshaw’s Melbourne teammates have revealed the midfielder is “not great” in the aftermath of the incident, which could place his career in jeopardy having battled concussion issues throughout his career.

Debate continues to rage over whether Maynard’s actions were part of a “footy act” and unavoidable even though Demons coach Simon Goodwin said the fact Maynard “jumped in the air” and knocked his player out should have repercussions.

Buckley was adamant the notion of players having a duty of care for each other shouldn’t be used as a means to suspend Maynard, calling it a “grey area” in the game and saying that not all head contact should be punished.

“I think we’ve got to understand that there have been players that have been suspended this year for acts that I don’t think are outside what you would expect a footballer to do,” he said on Monday morning.

Angus Brayshaw is ‘not great’ after being knocked out. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

“This idea of duty of care and this idea of protecting the head has had this groundswell of focus around it. We’ve seen players, in my view, that have been penalised and suspended for acts that I think that others have been let go of.

“Yes, we do get head contact that’s not penalised. We get some that is. There’s a lot of grey area here for me.

“Because if you went all in on this duty of care and this medico legal issue around concussion and head knocks, you’d be rubbing out five or six players on potential damage to the head every week.”

In a strong defence of his former player, Buckley said he hoped Maynard, who will face the tribunal on Tuesday night, was judged on the circumstances, not the colour of his jersey, declaring any player, even Melbourne players, would likely have done the same thing.

“Imagine if (Jack) Viney did this,” Buckley said on SEN Breakfast.

“Viney is the type of player (who is the comparison). He’s uncompromising at the contest and he would have been absolutely desperate to get a fingertip to that kick.

Jack Viney remonstrate with Brayden Maynard after Angus Brayshaw was knocked out. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

“Jack Viney would have found himself in that situation, mid-air, headlong, to try to smother a ball and then working out what he’s going to do in that split second when he lands on the opposition player, if in fact he had time to do that.

“So it’s a fair comparison and I don’t know what the answer is.

“I certainly hope that we take the colours of the guernseys out of it, that we look at the circumstances of the matter and that we’re actually fair to these guys that are playing football at breakneck speed.”

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