The Frawley and Brayshaw families have spoken of their shared ‘trauma’ watching Dees star Angus lie motionless on the MCG turf.
AFL: Simon Goodwin has spoken to media ahead of his side’s semi final against the Blues on Friday night. Addressing Angus Brayshaw and selection.
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The incident split the football world and sparked outrage as debate raged over whether an accident could attract penalty at the tribunal.
Despite Brayshaw being knocked out cold and lying motionless on the MCG turf for two minutes, Maynard was exonerated at the tribunal, with Tribunal chair Jeff Gleeson KC ruling that Maynard’s decision to brace himself in the manner that he did was “reasonable”, and that he had no time to form the intention of bumping.
With the four-year anniversary of her husband Danny taking his own life approaching this week, the pain when watching Angus Brayshaw’s concussion saga play out for the Frawley and Brayshaw families is acute, Anita says.
A Melbourne coroner said that her husband’s post-mortem diagnosis of CTE (a form of early-onset dementia caused by repeated head trauma) may have played a role in his five-year battle with depression before his death.
Brayshaw is engaged to the Frawleys’ second daughter, 27-year-old provisional psychologist Danielle.
“The events of the past few days have been extremely traumatising for my family,” Frawley told The Australian.
“We request that we be given privacy to deal with our ongoing trauma, especially during the week of the anniversary of Danny’s death. Discussions about CTE and concussion need to be ongoing and the protection of athletes’ brains has to be sacrosanct.
“There can be no diversion from this as we, as a family, do not want to see anyone else go through the trauma and pain that has and continues to effect us.”
Angus’ uncle James, who now works as a commentator for Seven, further told of the family’s pain, with brother Andrew having had his jaw broken by a brutal off-ball strike from West Coast’s Andrew Gaff in 2018, and mother Debra being present at the ground for both incidents.
Angus wears a helmet on-field at Debra’s insistence, having had concussion scares earlier in his career.
“Deb’s done it very tough,” Brayshaw said on Seven’s Talking Finals.
“She was at Optus Stadium when Andrew’s incident happened (in 2018), she was at the ground on the weekend.
“It is so hard (for parents to watch their children play football), because it’s such a brutal game.
“To sit in the stands among 90,000 people and watch your son lie and not move for two minutes – I don’t … we all reached out to her and I hope she is okay and I think she’s battling with it to be honest.”
Brayshaw also paid tribute to his brother, Angus’ father Mark, who was a premiership player for Claremont in the WAFL before being drafted to North Melbourne, and previously served as the CEO of both the Richmond Football Club and AFL Coaches’ Association.
“My brother’s amazing,” James said of Mark.
“I think he’s incredible, the way he handled what happened to Andrew over in the west and now Angus.
“I take my hat off to him. I’m not sure if I was in the same situation I would handle it as well as he has.”
It comes as sporting codes grapple with the outcome of a Senate inquiry into concussions and head trauma in contact sports, which recommended a national strategy and binding return-to-play rules that would require players to take a minimum of 21 days out after concussions.
Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rice, who chaired the inquiry, told News Corp she was “sickened” by the Brayshaw incident.
“The Senate’s inquiry into concussion heard from medical experts, former players and their families who made it abundantly clear that professional sport codes still have a long way to go to take concussions and head injuries seriously,” Senator Rice said.
“I respect the tribunal’s decision in this matter as it is an independent body, but there is no doubt about the seriousness of the concussion that Bradshaw sustained and the potential lifetime consequences of concussions like this. Sustaining a concussion like this is not safe, and the AFL needs to reflect on this.”