AFL commentator James Brayshaw has revealed his sister-in-law Deb is “battling” after seeing her son Angus knocked out again in a controversial incident with Brayden Maynard. Angus Brayshaw was knocked unconscious and taken from the field on a medicab in Melbourne’s loss to Collingwood last weekend.
Maynard has since been cleared by the AFL tribunal after collecting Brayshaw in the head with his shoulder in an attempted smother-gone-wrong. Brayshaw won’t play in Melbourne’s semi-final against Carlton on Friday night due to concussion protocols, and is no certainty to play again this season due to his history of head knocks.
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There are fears the 27-year-old will be forced to retire, after he suffered four concussions in the space of 12 months in 2017 and took a break from the game. He has worn head-gear ever since his return.
The incident came after Angus’ brother Andrew had his jaw broken by Andrew Gaff in a shocking off-the-ball moment in 2018. Discussing the situation this week, James Brayshaw (who is Angus’ uncle) opened up about how the family is doing in the wake of the latest incident, revealing his mum Deb was at the ground both times.
James said his brother Mark has been “amazing”, but Deb is “battling”. James told Channel 7: “I think (Mark) is 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. But Deb’s done it very tough. She was at Optus Stadium when Andrew’s incident happened, she was at the ground on the weekend.
“It is so hard (for parents), 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.”
Angus Brayshaw engaged to daughter of late Danny Frawley
The family connections to the Brayshaw incident are far-reaching. The Melbourne player is engaged to Danielle Frawley – the daughter of late AFL great Danny Frawley – who died in 2021 after a battle with mental health issues. Frawley was later found to have severe CTE – a brain disease caused by repeated head injuries.
The Brayshaw incident came just before the four-year anniversary of Frawley’s death. “The events of the past few days have been extremely traumatising for my family,” Frawley’s widow Anita 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.”
Christian Petracca provides update on Angus Brayshaw
Demons star Christian Petracca said Brayshaw was “going better” on Thursday, adding: “Footy is a byproduct of who we are, we are human beings at the end of the day. Footy, yes, is our job but you’ve got your brain for the rest of your life.
“That has probably been the difficult point of view, seeing what he’s gone through, and the family, and we are really close to them. I don’t think people understand the layers to the concussion.
“It’s not just affecting Angus, it’s the broader perspective of the family, it’s the Frawley family, it’s the Brayshaw family, it’s the parents. It’s an emotional time for everyone.”
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