Brayshaw snaps with AFL ‘bias’ accusation

The brother of a Demons star knocked out cold by a brutal hit has spoken out, accusing the AFL of being “desperate for Collingwood to win”.

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With Maynard’s attempted smother-turned-bump shaping as a landmark tribunal case on Tuesday, former West Coast Eagles player Hamish Brayshaw said he expected Maynard to get off scot-free, owing to a desire from AFL House for Collingwood to win their third premiership since 1958.

“It will set a precedent for what is going to happen for a long time in football I think, whether he gets off or whether he doesn’t,” Brayshaw said on the Shelter FootyCast alongside former West Coast star Will Schofield and commentator Mark Readings.

“I think if this happened in Round 3, sweet no worries mate you’ve got weeks. The scrutiny comes under the fact that I think the AFL are desperate for Collingwood to win a premiership.

“They want the supporters to go nuts, they’ve got 106,000 members, they want to do everything they can, in my opinion, for that to happen.

“The world wants to see that happen, or the Collingwood fans do anyway and they have a very loud voice so a lot of that is driven by the Collingwood fans and I think a few people at the AFL who want to see Collingwood win.

“But duty of care for a player, whether that comes into account, I don’t know.”

East Perth footballer Hamish Brayshaw went on the Shelter FootyChat podcast to discuss brother Angus’ concussion. Photo: BackChat Studios, YouTube

Brayshaw did however, go on to note that new AFL football boss Laura Kane reportedly unilaterally exercised her authority to refer Maynard directly to the tribunal after Match Review Officer Michael Christian declined to place him on report.

“The MRO (Match Review Officer) wanted to knock it straight away and not even look at it,” he said.

“For Laura Kane to step in and say, ‘Well actually, this is a pretty serious incident let’s have a look’. Good on her, well done, she stepped straight into her role and has gone bang.

“We’ll find out tomorrow night and then that will get appealed and appealed and appealed and we probably won’t find out until Friday but that will be an interesting week.”

Maynard’s hit on Brayshaw lit up the footy world. Photo: Fox Sports

The hit sparked an all-in brawl as Brayshaw’s Dees teammates rushed to his defence. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Brayshaw revealed his emotion at watching the incident that divided football this week, given his family’s close relationship to head trauma.

“He’s okay, which is good. I got pretty emotional watching it because of his history and all the rest of it,” he said.

“His symptoms had died down a couple of days afterwards which was good, he’s getting a scan on his brain tonight (September 11), an MRI tonight from the same doctor who’s done all of his previous scans, so they’ll be able to get a pretty good insight into what is going on up there which is handy.

“I was on the phone to him yesterday, he seems in reasonably good spirits, he’s happy that the symptoms are dying down / going away because he’s had them before, and they’re s**t.

“So he’s in a good spot, he’s up and about, everyone around him is giving him pretty good support, but he’s all right.”

The hit knocked Brayshaw out cold. Photo by Michael Klein.

Angus Brayshaw took an extended break from the sport in 2016 over his history of head trauma, sitting out half of his second year and the majority of 2017 after suffering four concussions in the space of 12 months.

In 2018, brother Andrew was also violently struck in the face in an off-the-ball incident by West Coast’s Andrew Gaff, leaving the younger Brayshaw with a fractured jaw and three dislodged teeth.

Angus has worn a helmet to assuage the fears of his mother Debra after repeated concussions early in his career.

He is also engaged to Danielle Frawley, the daughter of much-loved late St Kilda great Danny Frawley, who after battling with depression for decades took his own life in 2019 and was later diagnosed with stage two CTE, a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head trauma.

Maynard is set for a nervous wait to learn his fate at the Tribunal. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Maynard is set to face a landmark tribunal case which is anticipated to run well over time on Tuesday, with Collingwood understood to be prepared to appeal any adverse finding, while Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says while Brayshaw is feeling better, he was cognisant of his broader health.

“Clearly he’s in the protocols and there’s more checks that needs to be done,” Goodwin told press on Tuesday.

“So far, so good in terms of his progression to where we want to be. But there’s some tests that still need to be done.

“He’s got to work through these protocols and we certainly won’t take a risk with him as a player. There’s a big picture to think of here with Angus and we’ve just got to make sure everything is done properly.

“His health is paramount in this situation. So we certainly won’t take a risk. We’ll make sure the protocols are done well and once we get through that, we’ll assess it then.”

Melbourne will face a resurgent Carlton at the MCG for the chance to play Brisbane in a preliminary final, with a crowd of around 95,000 expected for the blockbuster.

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