Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas joined Triple M Adelaide this afternoon and discussed with Jars and Louie his fears going forward for the AFL.
Thomas spoke about his reluctance in seeing the AFL act as a beacon for society, and felt that the league shouldn’t bow to public pressure and make the game softer.
“I find it unconscionable that the AFL tries to use the AFL competition as a message to society,” Thomas lamented.
“The state leagues, country leagues, junior footy - they should have a completely different set of rules and guidelines which are ultra safe, ultra conservative, and everything else, so that mum’s are happy, dad’s are happy and families are happy,
“But the AFL still has that element of danger, it still has the element of intimidation, and you’re not held accountable, and Gil (McLachlan) doesn’t have to run around trying to appease society or be the moral compass for the community by tripping over himself making the AFL something it shouldn’t be.”
Thomas admitted that he was saddened to see the game in the state it was in, lamenting the fact that the intimidation factor in football is all but gone.
“It’s a brutal game,” he admitted.
“It’s the best game in the world, but it’s actually only 70 percent of what it could be as a product because we need to see more of the stuff that they’re trying to get out of the game.
“No one wants beltings, no one wants anything untoward…but when players don’t have to defend themselves because they’ve got rules and the umpires to protect them, and they don’t know how to protect themselves.
“They go into contests and they are completely oblivious…and when someone does get knocked, it’s all the player who’s going for the ball.
“It’s alright to have a bit of intimidation in footy. It’s alright to see players under pressure. It’s alright seeing professional sportspeople dealing with fear.”