Editorial August 8 2018

Just because you are on a sporting field, you somehow should not get a free pass to act beyond what is acceptable in normal, every day society.

When you are playing as part of a team on a sporting field, you put on a uniform.

That uniform does not give you permission to whack an opponent without consequence.

Assault is assault, whether that be on a sporting field or not.

Times have changed and the boofheads that support “Bring Back the Biff” would suggest maybe it hasn’t changed for the better. 

Yet the brawls once deemed acceptable as “part of the game” in various football codes are now no longer viewed the same way.

Sporting organisations and leagues now realise they have a duty of care to the people who take the field under their watch to do everything they can to make it safe.

That certainly does not include random acts of violence. In no way, shape or form.

At the weekend this gained national prominence when West Coast Eagles footballer Andrew Gaff whacked a young Fremantle opponent Andrew Brayshaw off the ball during an AFL game in Perth.

Brayshaw was unable to get his mouthguard out of his mouth such was the extent of the injuries from the punch.

He underwent an operation on his jaw and will be eating food from a straw for next four weeks.

Gaff’s defenders point to his “good character” or dismiss it as a “brain fade”, but let’s call it for what it was.

It was a blatant assault which, if done in the street, would see the offender facing serious criminal penalties.

And it is clear there are people involved in local sport who think because they are taking part in a sport, violence is somehow acceptable.

It is not.

If you want to punch on, take yourself off the footy field to the nearest boxing ring where you can belt yourself senseless in a legally sanctioned bout.

And if you believe in “Bring Back The Biff”, you are nothing but a boofhead. Plain and simple.

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