Essendon champion Tim Watson believes the MRP has no choice but to suspend one of the Brownlow Medal favourites Patrick Dangerfield, after his tackle on Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer.
The 2016 Brownlow winner pinned Kreuzer’s arms and drove him into the turf, leaving the Blue concussed and unable to take part in the rest of the game.
“Patrick Dangerfield should be given a week for the tackle that rendered Matthew Kreuzer concussed,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“Failure to do so will make a mockery of the MRP process. When the AFL introduced the fine process, it was to remove the possibility of players to be ineligible due to minor, innocuous, meaningless indiscretions. This doesn’t fit the category.
“While Dangerfield wasn’t malicious in any way, the tackle was dangerous, locking someone’s arms and forcing them into the turf. As we have seen so many times, that results in head trauma.”
Watson is also of the notion the Dangerfield incident shouldn’t be the instigator of change regarding the criteria of the Brownlow Medal. It has been suggested the “fairest” element of the award should be removed, with past winner Adam Cooney saying the best player should win the medal no matter what.
However, the three-time premiership player doesn’t think this should be the case.
“On the subject of the Brownlow, many believe, and there is evidence, high profile players get more favourable consideration,” he said.
“This isn’t about allowing someone to still be eligible to win the games highest individual award. This is about integrity of the system and the fairness to all players.
“While this has again led to calls to change the Brownlow from fairest to best, back to best, I disagree. It’s a tradition that should be aspired to and upheld. The Brownlow already has its own vagaries due to who posts the votes. Let’s not meddle with the medal.”