AFL news 2021: Sickening Nat Fyfe concussion exposes ‘hypocrites’, Sam Reid ban, reaction

Footy legends have hit out at the AFL for saying one thing and doing another after an ugly sight from the weekend was met with a wet lettuce.

Essendon legend Tim Watson has blasted the two-match suspension handed out to GWS star Sam Reid for his ugly bump on Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe on the weekend.

Fyfe was concussed when his head was hammered by Reid’s shoulder off-the-ball during the Dockers’ 31-point win on Sunday but the Giants veteran escaped with a lighter penalty than what many were expecting.

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Match Review Officer (MRO) Michael Christian deemed the contact high, careless and high-impact but Watson believes Reid should be facing a more severe punishment if the AFL is serious about protecting players.

“The (MRO) and by extension the AFL, are hypocrites,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.

“On one hand they are saying the head is sacrosanct — ‘We’ll do everything we can to protect the players’ heads out on the ground’. And then when given the opportunity to show how seriously they take concussion, head knocks and the potential for CTE, they baulk and hand out a paltry two week penalty.

“When will we take this seriously? I could argue what Reid did was more an act of footy violence than Patrick Dangerfield. He deserved a greater penalty than Patrick Dangerfield.

“Fyfe was completely passive. He was not expecting contact at that time. It knocked him off his feet, he was out to it. It was a sickening sight.

“No-one knows now though what damage Fyfe will carry forward, and when he will feel well enough to train fully again.

“This was an injustice.”

Reid can fight the charge but if he accepts his sanction, will only miss two games.

North Melbourne great turned analyst David King said the league needed to take a stand to show it is taking concussion seriously.

“We’ve got to stop making excuses for these sorts of occasions, or we’re going nowhere.

“I keep saying it … at some point we’ve got to take (concussion) serious as a code.

“Nathan Fyfe is the defenceless player in this whole circumstance.”

Fyfe became the first AFL player to be replaced by a concussion substitute this year when teammate Connor Blakely was activated as his replacement.

The league’s newly-introduced concussion protocols require a mandatory 12-day period on the sidelines for players who demonstrate concussion symptoms.

Fyfe has been ruled out of Fremantle’s clash against Carlton this weekend.

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