GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron has hit out at some of the hysterical commentary surrounding star forward Jeremy Cameron's clash with Brisbane defender Harris Andrews.
Cameron was whacked with a five-game suspension by the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday after his ugly strike on Andrews left the young Lion hospitalised with bleeding on the brain in the wake of Saturday's match.
The incident attracted enormous media attention, with some outlets comparing Cameron's hit to the infamous elbowing charge handed to St Kilda's Tony Lockett after he floored Sydney's Peter Caven in 1994, and more recently, a crude hit from Port Adelaide's Tom Jonas on Andrew Gaff that earned the Power defender a six-week ban in 2016.
While most commentators agreed Cameron deserved a significant stint on the sidelines, the GWS coach said he was shocked by the lack of balance in the coverage of the clash.
"The thing that disappointed me the most was the actual incident itself because we felt for Harris, but the second part was the assassination of Jeremy's character from key people (in the media) that clearly had an agenda," he said.
"I was really disappointed, especially with people with prominent positions in the AFL media.
"Calling someone a thug or a dog, those words don't relate to Jeremy Cameron.
"The people that have said that should be embarrassed and really disappointed.
"There were some really clear-thinking people that made calculated comments on it, and you're always going to have two sides, everyone has an opinion on it.
"But when you take that opinion way too far and mention those types of words, that’s really disappointing.
"Whether they angle in on me or our footy club that’s irrelevant, (but) when you single out a person, when I know it's just not the truth, (it) isn't right."
Cameron said that as frustrated as he was with the treatment his player has copped in some parts of the media, he hadn't reached out to any of those involved.
"No, it's not really worth it," he said.
The Giants coach was joined by co-captain Phil Davis in his passionate defence of his star forward.
While Davis conceded the 25-year-old needed to be suspended by the AFL Tribunal, he believed reaction directed at his teammate in the aftermath was "disgusting".
"Some of the reaction has really disappointed me," Davis said on The Footy Phil podcast.
"When you have people who speak with bias, slanderous words.
"The hyperbole surrounding some of the comments was disgusting.
"I get frustrated because people forget Jeremy is a human being as well."
Davis said the incident was nowhere near as bad as it looked on TV, pointing to Lions players who barely remonstrated with Cameron at the time.
He called for media and fans to better understand how quick the game is.
"I think people that don't understand that, in particular, are certain journalists who sit behind the microphone, their pieces of paper and haven't lived it and experienced it," Davis said.
"Your natural instinct, which is human survival, takes over and you have to protect yourself.
"Unfortunately in this situation Jeremy's mechanism to protect himself lent harm to Harris and I hope Harris is going well and we send our support there.
"Football is football and there are unfortunate events because people get caught in bad positions all the time.
"Jeremy is super unlucky. He had no intention to do anything malicious or wrong and it's disrespectful to say 'dog act'."
Leon Cameron said there had been regular contact between himself and Brisbane coach Chris Fagan since Saturday's game, as well as the two players involved, and other key footy officials at both clubs.
"Jeremy's main concern is Harris and that’s the sort of person he is, and our main concern is that Harris can come back and play footy, that’s the most important thing," he said.
"Whether people look at it as intentional or careless, those sorts of things happen on a footy field with split second decisions.
"The remorse Jeremy showed towards Harris and the way the two clubs have dealt with each other since Saturday has been terrific.
"The incident isn't good for the game, Jeremy acknowledges that, but I'm really proud of the way the club has handled it."
The suspended Cameron is second in the race for the Coleman Medal, five goals behind North Melbourne spearhead Ben Brown (40 goals).
The Giants sit in 10th on the ladder, two points behind the eighth-placed Kangaroos.
Cameron won't play again until the Giants' round 20 clash with Carlton on August 5.