Dermie threatens boycott as past, present players slam verdict
Demons appeal Tribunal's 'unreasonable' Viney call

THE FOOTBALL world has reacted quickly to news of Jack Viney's two-match suspension for rough conduct against Adelaide's Tom Lynch.

Dermott Brereton (SEN)
As a bit of a protest against this …  I'm in the Hall of Fame and I love going to those functions - for a start, I'm not going to turn up. They can get stuffed this year. I'm not going to do anything for them. I'm not turning up to their functions. This is just fundamentally wrong. 

Kevin Bartlett, Australian Football Hall of Fame legend (SEN)
Personally, I didn't think he bumped his opponent but took split second evasive action. I thought the benefit of the doubt says collision. Three former players said 'No'. 

Lets not hear talk of the game being soft or the bump is dead. The rule is a good one to protect players that are hit in the head.

Jack Grimes, Melbourne co-captain (3AW) 
In a bit of shock after last night. We just have to remember sometimes that AFL footy is a game of split second decisions and when unfortunate things like this happen there's not too much you can do about it.
We have to be concerned for the look of our game when things like this happen. We don't want players like [Jack] to feel like he's going to be constantly penalised or feeling like they have to change the way they play just to stay out on the field.

Nathan Buckley, Collingwood coach (Fox Footy)
The way the letter of the law is written, if you bump someone and they get an injury, you're in strife. The way the AFL have gone is they're trying to legislate against bad luck. The same action without the injury would be cleared. I can't see how that works. 

"The minute the ball hits the ground, that could have come back to Viney, so he was within his rights to travel with the momentum that he was. After that, I don't know what his alternatives were, other than to brace. He's a kid who got his jaw broken two years ago in his first VFL game, I think, probably from similar contact. 

I can understand the AFL's trying to clean it up and I believe that that's the right thing to do. But he didn't jump off the ground, I don't think there was any intent for high contact. In fact, he was braced low. He was as low as he could have gone, really. I don't know what other alternative he had. 

The Viney incident frame by frame: Hover your mouse to pause and scroll forwards or backwards

Robert Murphy, Western Bulldogs defender (Fox Footy)
We were a bit foggy on the technicality of the bump but I kind of justified it to myself that I've got a pretty good understanding of the spirit of the game. I think this has clouded that for me.

It's a tough, tough call on a good young player. 

He can't do what I've heard has been suggested. He can't pirouette out of the situation because he'd find himself out of the team. Players, clubs - if that's what you get for putting yourself in the situation, we'll probably cop the suspension because you can't coach the opposite. You can't train the alternative in jumping out of the way. Really, I think he acted responsibly in the incident.

Shaun Hampson, Richmond ruckman (
"I thought he was quite unlucky but I think any situation where a player gets a head injury, whether it was forceful contact or negligent, there might be weeks involved,"
"It's not ideal but it's the rules the AFL make and we've just got to abide by what they say."

Jordan Lewis, Hawthorn midfielder (Fox Footy)
There's stuff that happens in our game that is unpredictable and unfortunately there is an injury sustained, so people think they've got to make a ruling or a judgement on that to prevent it from happening again. As a player, I can honestly say I won't change the way I play. Sometimes you're just unlucky and you get reported, and you just hope.

Matthew Richardson, former Richmond champion (3AW)
I guess that you can look at it either way. If Jack said that he was bracing for contact, I'll believe what he's saying. He seems like an upstanding young man. If that's what he was saying I'll take it that way, but you could definitely look at it the other way and say that he chose to bump as well.
I think it's clear now that if you decide to bump and you make contact with the head you're in trouble. None of us probably that have played the game or grew up with it agree with it, but I can also see where the AFL's coming from in wanting to protect players' heads. I guess you've got to accept that now.
As former players and current players now we just have to get on with it and realise that's the case. But it's in players' instincts. If you've played the game right through junior footy and into your senior career it's in your instinct to go for a bump. It's been part of the game and it's not easy just to suddenly change when you're out there in the heat of the battle. that it doesn't cost you a final, a Grand Final, because that's when it really matters." 

Leigh Matthews, AFL Football Hall of Fame legend (3AW)
Was it accidental or was it negligent? I thought it was slightly negligent. In other words, he braced for contact to protect himself he turned his shoulder into the contact and his shoulder made contact with the Crows player's head. He was very unlucky that he broke his jaw. To me, fair would be that he got virtually a slap on the wrist.
To me, it's one of those offences that because it's a broken jaw, because it's high impact that's probably where the two weeks would come in. I was hoping the Tribunal would say 'Well, listen we've just got to do what's fair'. Fair is probably the 120 points or one-and-a-bit weeks, if you plead guilty then you might only get 80 or 90 points. That's to me the way I saw that incident.
He has to serve two weeks, that's the end result? I reckon that's a week heavy on the fairness.

Mick Malthouse, Carlton coach (5AA) 
I think we're all totally bamboozled by this. There's no way known he (Viney) was thinking, 'I'm going to break this guy's (Tom Lynch's) jaw.'
We need to teach our footballers at five (years of age), that no, you can't bump, and it's not disgraceful to actually jump out of the way.
Ian Prendergast, AFLPA acting CEO (SEN) 
I certainly think that this decision is not in the spirit of what we feel like we've agreed to through the Laws of the Game process. If this is going to be considered a bump then any act where a player is protecting himself will be defined in that way."
Even if it was considered a bump by the Tribunal, I don't think he had any other realistic alternatives. This confusion isn't going to help in my view and hopefully is rectified through the appeal so that that balance can be restored.

Matthew Lloyd, former Essendon forward (3AW)
I’m pretty torn to be honest. I think there are moments in football where it’s just unavoidable, contact. For Jack Viney here to have to try and just jump out the way or he had to get smacked himself.

“I feel for him and I think there is areas in the game where we can have accidental head clashes. The one thing for mine, the time to get lower he’d get smashed himself. In quick time, split-second thing it’s so much more difficult. If he got lower … we could have had three blokes all on the ground in a fair bit of pain.

Scott Lucas, former Essendon forward (SEN)
Just very disappointing. The issue for me is that he didn’t elect to bump, he elected to brace himself once he realised the ball wasn’t there for the taking.

He approached the ball looking to win the ball, Lynch takes it clearly and its unavoidable there is going to be contact. Purely the fact that Lynch broke his jaw is why Jack Viney got two weeks.

 [Players won't] approach the ball with the level of intent you once did – they'll sit off more and give the opponent the opportunity to win the ball and then tackle him, rather than going to contest that ball.

Adam Cooney, Western Bulldogs midfielder (Triple M) 
There's obviously a lot of confusion about it at the moment. It seemed to me like he was going for the ball and then just braced for impact.
I know the AFL has gone everything head high, but you've got to realise that when guys have their eyes on the ball, there's going to be those situations where there's going to be impact and unfortunately some guys are going to get injured.   

Doug Hawkins, former Western Bulldogs champion (SEN)
It wasn’t disappointing, it was a shocker. He had to brace himself and make contact - we would have been highlighting all week, here’s a kid jumping out of a contest.

I used to love going to the footy to watch guys make contact, this is a part of our great game.

David Rhys-Jones, former South Melbourne/Sydney Swans and Carlton player (
On the precedents that have been set already … Viney had to go, but that doesn't mean you have to agree with it. 

I'd tell him to keep playing the same way. 

People who've got natural aggression in the way they play, they can't take that out of their game or they won't get a kick, they won't be the same effective players. 

The good thing about watching soccer is they don't change the rules, the rules have stayed the same and stood the test of time, and yet we continually tinker with the rules and tinker with what was, and still is a great game. 

Heath Black, former Fremantle wingman (SEN)
We’re creatures of habit, if someone’s coming at you like that at that ferocity you’re going to brace and try to defend yourself.

I think we’ve got to really peel it all back and understand that people in high positions have to understand how hard it is to play the game.