CHRIS Judd has questioned whether members of the public should be able to profit from selling mobile phone footage, saying it sets a dangerous precedent.
The Carlton star was recently approached by an aggressive man while having dinner at a Lygon Street café. Judd said he felt he was "a reasonable chance to end up in a punch-up" with the man.
An onlooker filmed the incident and is alleged to have sold it to Channel Seven, which aired the vision on Monday night.
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Judd questioned the ethics of capturing and then auctioning the footage, and said it put well-known public figures at further risk.
"I understand that the news is a commercial venture, competing for eyeballs and advertising dollars, and as an AFL player I also understand that although unfair, we've always had a figurative target painted on our backs by people who are unhappy about the cards they've been dealt in life, or who are desperate for attention," Judd told The Age.
"But discovering that getting abused and almost being forced to come to blows with a stranger has turned into a lucrative payday for someone else makes me feel that the target on my back just got that little bit bigger."
Judd said one person who witnessed the incident called the police and another, who filmed the altercation, said he was doing so in case evidence was required if an assault occurred.
"Needless to say, if his interests were altruistic, he would have handed the footage over to all TV stations free of charge, rather than hold an auction for it," Judd said.
The 31-year-old said he was concerned how it would have been portrayed in the media had he become physically involved with the aggressor.
The dual Brownlow medallist, who was set to retire at the end of last season before deciding to play on, suggested in future some may attempt to plan and film incidents for financial gain.
"I accept the notion that had a serious crime been committed, having footage of it would have been useful from a victim's standpoint," Judd said. "But it is also a concern to live in a world where calling the police, or breaking up a fight, could leave you thousands of dollars lighter in the pocket than if you had chosen instead to film and then sell images of the incident.
"Are we also running the risk that some people will target and film others with greater sophistication if they feel they can profit from such unsavoury events?"