In a case that has sparked heated debate across the AFL community, Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard faces a tribunal hearing for his ban on rough conduct that led to Angus Brayshaw’s concussion. The tribunal, chaired by Jeff Gleeson and featuring Stewart Loewe and Jason Johnson, will convene at 4 pm AEST, where Maynard is expected to testify.
Collingwood will argue that Maynard’s actions were a “football act,” while the AFL contends that Maynard failed in his duty of care to Brayshaw. The case has been marked as a test case by the AFL’s Executive General Manager of Football, Laura Kane, and is expected to set a precedent for future conduct on the field.
David Mundy, a Fremantle legend, suggests that the AFL’s intervention indicates a shift in how the game will be adjudicated, moving away from past norms. Mundy also provided insights into what Maynard could have done differently to avoid causing serious health concerns.
Adding another layer to the debate, Hamish Brayshaw, Angus’ younger brother, accused the AFL of bias towards Collingwood. He believes that the AFL is keen for Collingwood to win a premiership due to their large fan base and that this could influence the tribunal’s decision.
Collingwood has two potential defenses. First, they could argue that Maynard was merely contesting the ball. Second, they could claim that Brayshaw’s actions were something Maynard could not have anticipated or controlled. Both defenses are expected to face strong opposition, especially from Brayshaw’s camp.
The tribunal’s decision will be closely watched, as it could influence future rulings on what constitutes a reportable offense. Given the high stakes and the divided opinions on the matter, the outcome is eagerly awaited and will have far-reaching implications for the AFL.