Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon has labelled the tribunal’s decision to uphold West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui’s suspension “ridiculous”.
In particular, Lyon was upset with the AFL counsel’s suggestion that Naitanui should’ve taken the size disparity between he and Karl Amon into consideration before choosing to tackle.
SEN newsman Sam Edmund explained the AFL counsel’s ruling.
“AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson said ultimately Naitanui had acted with excessive force and the disparity between size which Naitanui estimated to be 30kgs needed to be considered by Naitanui in order for him to carry out his duty of care towards other players,” Edmund told SEN Breakfast.
“So he’s asking Nic Naitanui to do the sums, realize who he’s going to tackle and if he’s 30kgs heavier then tackle in a different way than what you would if you tackled Charlie Dixon.”
Lyon doesn’t believe it’s fair to ask players to take that into account on the field.
“It almost takes, as former player, you almost feel embarrassed to read that,” Lyon said.
“To think that that’s the parameters within which the players are expected to play the game today.
“So now you go right, I’m about to jump on this guy’s head to take a big hanger, but I’m 35kgs heavier than him, if I knee him in the back of the head I could be seen to not be displaying a duty of care.
“It’s just extraordinary.”
After seven rounds of footy, Edmund believes the tribunal has already created double standards.
“We’re told accidents happen aren’t we? Ryan Burton put Shaun Higgins in hospital because accidents happen when you choose to bump, but suddenly accidents don’t happen with Nic Naitanui so I’m confused by the ruling,” he said.
Naitanui will miss West Coast taking on GWS at Spotless Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Originally published on SEN.com.au