AFL Players Association president Patrick Dangerfield has commented on the situation surrounding Collingwood’s Jaidyn Stephenson.
The second-year Pies forward appears to be in trouble after alledgedly asking a friend to have a bet on his behalf on a Collingwood game.
According to the Herald Sun, Stephenson self-reported to officials after the fact, but could still be in for a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
Dangerfield said the AFLPA provides as much education and information as possible to try and avoid this situation.
“The players association comes out to every club every pre-season every year and the same thing when there’s an induction with new draftees every year, they’re educated around respect, responsibility and then all the other things that encompass being an AFL player, of which gambling is certainly a part of that,” Dangerfield told SEN’s Whateley.
“The education is there. Young people are naturally risk takers at heart. There’s going to be the odd occurrence. All we can do is educate our players as best we can.
“I’d find it very difficult that you could miss the message, but that being said, there continues to be different incidents that happen so we’ve got to look at different ways to do a better job than we currently are because it’s clearly not getting through to everyone.”
Dangerfield urges people to try and understand the situation before judging Stephenson.
“Poor mental health is one of the biggest challenges we have within the game right now so there’s always a reason for a decision you make or behaviour you engage in,” he said.
“It’s not just we’re going to smash Jaidyn Stephenson, how could he do this, there’s always certain underlying issues people have so we’ve got to make sure we provide the appreciate support first and then after that the education.”