AFL Players Association CEO Paul Marsh says the media coverage surrounding the incident involving West Coast’s Andrew Gaff and Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw was excessive.
Gaff was suspended for eight weeks by the AFL Tribunal last night for punching Brayshaw during last Sunday’s fiery Western Derby, resulting in a broken jaw and four displaced teeth for the young Docker.
Marsh believes the savage criticism of Gaff has gone far enough.
“You sometimes get immune to this stuff,” he told SEN’s Time On.
“But to see this on the front page and the back page of the papers, it’s the lead story in the news, you would think Andrew Gaff had just murdered somebody.
“There are two players in the middle of this, and I don’t think it can be underestimated what Andrew Gaff is going through.
“We’re not excusing his actions, but he’s a good person who made a mistake, he’s incredible remorseful as I said.
“I think he’s owned his actions and I think we’ve now got to move passed it.
“As I said to a couple of people who work in our office and around our office, Leigh Matthews has got a trophy named after him within our organisation.
“He had a similar issue many years ago, we will move passed this, Andrew Gaff will go on to become an even bigger superstar than he is.
“Given how big of an issue mental health is within our industry and our society, sometimes you’ve just got to dial these things down a little bit.”
Listen to Paul Marsh’s chat on SEN’s Time On with Sam McClure in the player below