VIOLENT ACT: West Coast Eagles midfielder Andrew Gaff addresses the media after appearing at the AFL tribunal at AFL House in Melbourne.  He recieved an eight-game ban over his punch that broke young Dockers player Andrew Brayshaw's jaw.
VIOLENT ACT: West Coast Eagles midfielder Andrew Gaff addresses the media after appearing at the AFL tribunal at AFL House in Melbourne. He recieved an eight-game ban over his punch that broke young Dockers player Andrew Brayshaw's jaw. LUIS ASCUI

OPINION: When will we see penalties to deter this violence?

AFL's Andrew Gaff has just written off a brilliant career in football. He was one of the three considered for the Brownlow medal. Role model to rogue in one hit.

His future is in jeopardy for one rash moment's indiscretion on the playing field against Andrew Brayshaw.

The altercation between these two was the centre of discussion and consideration at the tribunal meeting. He may even face criminal assault charges for this unprovoked attack on the 18-year-old Brayshaw, if there's an official complaint.

He is left with significant jaw injuries which will hinder his play for the rest of the season.

Now Gaff's remorse for this attack is clouded with his claim it is out of character to be violent to such an extent.

Tell that to the marines. No one readily admits to having a violent side, even though we see evidence of violence in our schools, on the playing field and in homes and relationships. Bullies are made, not born.

When such out-of-control players are our role models, we have to question the codes of conduct and standards of behaviour acceptable in sports, schools and in our private lives, behind closed doors.

What part does alcohol and drug abuse play on these offenders' behaviours?

It is blatantly obvious that random and unprovoked violence is one aspect of third millennium society and sporting culture, which should be outlawed, without mercy to the perpetrators: no second chances; no "three strikes and you're out” either on the sporting field, in the schoolground or in the home.

Criminal charges against such would send a clear message that violence under any circumstances is not tolerated. If only the courts and major institutions would prosecute offenders with sentences that deter the rest.

Tougher penalties for perpetrators and offenders should be a deterrent in any cultural setting. Talent is often the excuse for tolerance and leniency. Every man, like the moon, has a dark side.

Eloise Rowe

Tannum Sands



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