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A young AFL star will be eating through a straw for four weeks after suffering a broken jaw in an unprovoked onfield attack.

West Coast Eagles player, Andrew Gaff, will argue he tried to punch the teenager’s chest when he shattered his jaw and knocked four of his teeth out in a sickening on-field incident that will likely end both players’ seasons.

Fremantle Dockers young gun Andrew Brayshaw, 18, spent Sunday night in hospital after he was hit  in an off-the-ball clash during the match at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Gaff, 26, who will face the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night, told his coach he tried to strike Brayshaw’s chest, but instead connected flush with the teenager’s jaw.

‘Hand on heart and speaking to him post game, he legitimately said to me he didn’t mean to hit him in the head,’ Eagles coach Adam Simpson told Channel Seven.

West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett said Gaff was ‘beside himself with what happened’.

‘I think people saw the remorse he has under this situation, but it doesn’t go to exonerate him from the action,’ he said.

‘He has to take responsibly – which he’s taking – but he’s taking it pretty tough.’

Gaff is almost certain to be suspended for the remainder of the season, perhaps even into the early part of next year, while Brayshaw’s season is over.

The teenager underwent surgery on Sunday night and will be eating through a straw for the next four weeks.

Prominent lawyer and Fremantle Dockers foundation member Tom Percy said a criminal investigation against Gaff was needed and that Gaff could face criminal charges for the ‘cowardly assault’.

Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has confirmed they will ‘make an assessment’.

Commissioner Dawson told Perth Now it was rare for police to step in on incidents that occurred on a sporting field but they would make an assessment as it was a matter of ‘public interest.’

What message are we sending our children?

I sat and watched the news with my teenage son who is an aspiring AFL star and he was horrified.

His first comment was if he did that at school he would be suspended or worse.  If you did that to someone in the street you would be charged with assault.

So this football player seriously needs to be held to these standards as well. Surely it should not make a difference that he was on a football field mid game.

If he gets away with a warning and a few weeks suspension, what is that teaching kids? They need to see that it is not acceptable at all, on or off the playing field.

I truly hope he turns this around and does some public speaking about the incident at schools to spread the message that what he did was so very wrong.

What are your thoughts?

Share your comments below

  • Yeah, it wasn’t a good thing to see during a sporting event. Just goes to show how easy it is to snap and lose it

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  • Football should be about team sport and playing skills. Playing with a ball. NOT thumping a player.
    People say Motorsport is dangerous. Yes it is, but the cars have regulation safety features and the drivers have to wear special clothing and wear Australian Standards helmets – much higher standard than road use for motorcycles. There is my far a lot more injuries in football than their is in motorsport and a lot of others. There is also a lot of injuries in Rugby.

    Reply

  • why do you get charged if you hit on the street but not in sport,so ridiculous,no matter what he purposely swung to hit him doesn’t matter that he said he was going for his chest you shouldn’t have swung at all,tired of there being one rule for sports people one for others he should be charged.

    Reply

  • At the end he was given 8 weeks suspension. And he apologized to Andrew and his family.

    Reply

  • Zero tolerance for on field and off field violence – it is just not acceptable.

    Reply

  • Sportsmen are role models it’s about time they start acting like it. With sportswomen getting paid significantly lower with one of the greatest paygaps within industries they need to start pulling their weight. You wouldn’t see this in a woman’s league. Maybe it’s time we start supporting true sportsship and remove gender from the equation.


    • Women’s sport definitely needs a higher profile!

    Reply

  • Actions should have consequences, it would be good the be consequent with this one.

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  • definite zero tolerance, sack him and ban him from playing full stop

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  • Zero tolerance. That’s the only way for these sportspeople to clean up their act, both on and off the field. I will never understand why they are held to different standards?

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  • And there are people saying it wasn’t deliberate. Looking at the video it looks very deliberate.
    In any other contest, one person that punches another one would be punished. Why is a football field any different?

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  • We definitely need to see a strong response from the AFL the poor kid who got hit will be suffering for a long time.

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  • This is sickening and disgusting! If it happened anywhere other than the footy pitch, serious charges would be laid! A few weeks suspension is not good enough – the AFL have to, literally, step up their game!

    Reply

  • The afl really needs to make a statement that this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated!

    Reply

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