Brayden Maynard cleared, Eddie McGuire Instagram reaction in restaurant, Will Schofield vs Nathan Buckley Twitter

Carlton veteran Sam Docherty says he’s “pleased” Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard escaped suspension, claiming the incident that left Demon Angus Brayshaw concussed was “an unfortunate accident”.

After being central to five days of intensely passionate and emotional commentary, Maynard on Tuesday night was found not guilty of rough conduct against Brayshaw after a marathon four-hour tribunal hearing.

The public reaction to the tribunal’s verdict was predictably mixed.

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Premiership Magpie Dale Thomas uploaded an Instagram story featuring ecstatic former Magpies president Eddie McGuire trumpeting the Maynard tribunal news to diners at a restaurant.

“Ladies and gentlemen, justice has been done! Maynard is free to play for the Pies!” a passionate McGuire said.

Premiership Eagle Will Schofield, who said the AFL should appeal the tribunal’s call, wrote on X: “In the end, where you sit on this Maynard tribunal decision comes down to whether you like Collingwood or not. Let’s be honest.”

‘The evidence was really clear’: Wright | 02:33

Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley replied: “Or you could have some integrity…”

Speaking on Fox Footy’s AFL 360, a measured Docherty said AFL players understood the dangers associated with playing the game and that unfortunate accidents occur.

“I think there’s an inherent risk in playing AFL footy that sometimes in football actions people are going to get hurt, whether that’s concussion or other injuries. In my eyes, this was an unfortunate accident,” Docherty told AFL 360.

“He’s gone up in a game that’s very important to the football club to smother the ball on the way down, you’ve got 0.15 of a second to try and change your body position or get out of the way … the duty of care would’ve been to not jump and smother, but smothering in our game of footy is an integral part.

“I don’t think we’ll find too many situations where this will exactly happen, but there’s risk in playing – and that’s OK, we all go out there knowing that. It’s very unfortunate for Angus to be in the position he’s in, but I’m pleased he (Maynard) has got off.”

Maynard cleared to play by AFL Tribunal | 02:32

Giants captain Toby Greene added: “I honestly thought he’d get off, so I’m not too surprised. I know there was a lot of conjecture over it, but was expecting him to get off – and he did.”

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley said the thorough nature of the case meant an AFL appeal would be unlikely.

“I’m totally comfortable with the way that case unfolded, that it’s an outcome matches the circumstances, that it was reasonable to embark on the smoother, that the impact was possible but not inevitable – I totally accept that listening to the whole case – and that the 0.15 of a second just doesn’t allow a conscious decision. All it allows is the flinch – and the flinch here is regrettable and has an awful outcome – but it was a flinch and not a conscious decision. That’s from the experts, that’s what the science will say,” Whateley told Fox Footy.

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