AFL greats Jonathan Brown and Garry Lyon have been involved in a strong debate over the concussion test which forced GWS star Brent Daniels out of the closing minutes of the preliminary final loss to Collingwood.
Daniels came off the ground after a spotter in the AFL Review Centre (ARC) told the Giants to give the forward an initial concussion test following a final-quarter incident.
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The spotters were introduced for the finals series to ensure concussions were more likely to be treated during the game, after the drama surrounding Port Adelaide allowing Aliir Aliir to return to a home and away match despite an obvious head knock.
Daniels was given the initial HIA check and then the Giants’ doctor decided he required a proper SCAT5 test, which saw him sent into the rooms for full 15-minute examination and thus ruled him out of the game.
Brown, a player renowned for his courage who retired on medical advice after a 2014 concussion (the latest in a series of head injuries), asked why Daniels couldn’t simply reject coming off the ground given he was not showing obvious signs of a concussion.
That saw Lyon deliver a firm rejection of the idea, explaining Brown’s thought process is exactly why players aren’t allowed to make a call on whether they come off the ground or not.
“Brent Daniels can do what he likes,” Brown declared.
“Unless the umpire, unless the doctor or the runners, all the staff come out and carry him off-
Interrupting, Lyon said: “With the greatest of respect, he can’t.”
Below is a full transcript of their debate on Fox Footy’s On the Couch.
Brown: “If I’m a player in that circumstance, six or seven minutes to go, I’m telling the doctor to go and get stuffed. Get away from me, I’m trying to put our team into a grand final. Now what can the doctor do?
Lyon: “I know you would, but-
Buckley: “But you can’t.
Brown: “But what do you mean they can’t? Would the doctor physically remove the player? How do we know this hasn’t happened before?
Lyon: “$100,000 fine.
Brown: “So $100,000 towards Brent Daniels?
Lyon: “Didn’t Port Adelaide get $100,000 for (the Aliir Aliir incident)?
Brown: “But the doctor goes out or the runner suggests hey you’ve got to come out for the HIA. He says hey mate, thanks for that, I’ll chat to you after the game.
Lyon: “But Browny. Every player in a prelim final will say the same thing, so we’ve got to save them for themselves. So you don’t have the right to refuse.
Brown: “Why not, mate?
Lyon: “Because history tells you we’d all do the same thing!”
Brown: “Yeah I know but why? Brent Daniels can do what he likes. Unless the umpire, unless the doctor or the runners, all the staff come out and carry him off-
Lyon: “With the greatest of respect, he can’t. Once that decision is made for him, it’s out of his hands. He’s not the man who adjudicates. That’s what we’ve arrived at.
Brown: “That’s fair enough, the theory, but the practicalities of it. If he stays out on the ground and they win their way into a grand final, what happens to Brent Daniels?
Lyon: “He’s in a shizen load of trouble.
Brown: “He would get suspended, you think?”
Originally published as AFL legends lock horns in heated concussion debate live on air