Coaching legend Kevin Sheedy believes the AFL needs to do more to protect the head, fearing a player could be killed when running back with the flight of the ball.
Champion forwards Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt are two such players who drew praise in recent years for taking legendary marks with eyes only for the ball.
But after Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert was forced to retire due to a concussion against Richmond in the 2020 finals series, Sheedy fears it could end in a fatality.
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“We are not ready for that and we don‘t want it, so we have to protect the players from themselves.
“If we lost someone it would send a cyclonic tsunami through the ranks and the flow-on impact at all levels of the game would be enormous.
“I don‘t know how we can change this, but the onus is on the AFL to at least look at it before someone dies.
“I am talking about the incident that ended Brad Ebert‘s career. I am talking about those crazy marks from Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt.
“We admire the courage of those players, but sooner or later, someone is going to die.”
Sheedy also explained he had major concerns around the AFL’s sling tackle rule after a number of tough match review officer calls.