Australian football legend Malcolm Blight agrees with the AFL Tribunal’s call to free Brayden Maynard.
After a four-hour Tribunal hearing, the Collingwood defender was cleared of responsibility over a smothering attempt that concussed Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw.
Blight believes the unanimous support of current day players shows the Tribunal reached the correct decision.
“I’ve listened to every bit of commentary on it. We’ve heard the family and they are very emotional about it and I get that, but somewhere down the track if the boot was on the other foot, would they be a bit more understanding about the decision?” Blight told SEN’s Sportsday SA.
“The thing I’ve found, and I’ve watched everything I’ve possibly could, is that the current day players think it is the right decision. They’ve all agreed it was part of football and that’s what they signed up for.
“That to me, we have an opinion, the AFL has an opinion, the counsels have an opinion, but the blokes that are actually playing the game, every one I’ve heard has said exactly that bar family members of the Brayshaws.”
Blight doesn’t have an issue with suggestions the AFL may have sent this to the Tribunal to disassociate themselves from the ultimate decision on Maynard.
He also isn’t copping any notion that Laura Kane sent this case to the Tribunal only because the Magpies were involved.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Just sitting back and watching this all unfold, some of the commentary around ‘oh they only referred it to the Tribunal because it was Collingwood’, it’s the greatest codswallop I’ve heard in years,” he added.
“This is a single individual act that happened on the field that caught the attention of the whole football world.”
Melbourne great Shaun Smith slammed the decision, writing on Facebook: AFL you are an embarrassment and an absolute joke!!!!
Absolutely disgusting …. The AFL are a disgusting organisation.
This thug KOs someone, potentially ending their career, and he gets off.
Blight however disagrees: “He can have an opinion, that’s fine – but it’s wrong.”
Smith is the father of Melbourne listed player Joel Smith.