AFL great David Mundy laments the ‘black mark’ concussion is leaving on the game, in wake of Kysaiah Pickett, Lance Franklin and Shane McAdam bumps


Fremantle great David Mundy says the framework under which the AFL penalises dangerous bumps “handcuffs” itself.

Kysaiah Pickett, Lance Franklin (both two matches) and Shane McAdam (three) were all handed suspensions for head-high bumps from last weekend, which thrust the AFL’s response to the growing issue of concussion squarely into the spotlight.

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And, as if it needed any more heat on the issue, the three separate incidents came in the same week two separate class actions were lodged against the league for their handling of concussion.

On Tuesday, a class action was lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court by Margalit Injury Lawyers on behalf of more than 60 former AFL players.

The second class action could have more than 200 players involved.

The lead plaintiffs of the new class action are former Melbourne star forward Shaun Smith, Adelaide Crows flag hero Darren Jarman, and the wife of late Richmond midfielder, Shane Tuck.

Brownlow medallist John Platten and former Geelong and Essendon big man John Barnes are just two of the high-profile names among the group members of the second action.

Mundy says the incidents from the weekend have no place in the game.

David Mundy says dangerous bumps need to be stamped out of the game. Credit: Getty

“I don’t think they sit within the game, clearly, and they’ve all been suspended according to the rules,” he told

“But I think the AFL also hamstrings itself or handcuffs itself a little bit by some of those classifications, I think, particularly with grading, impact and things like that. I think the intent, first and foremost, the action, should be judged rather than potential outcome.

“So, I certainly don’t think they sit within the modern-day game. With the talk around concussion and what a massive black mark on the history of AFL that has already caused and continues to cause, and it’s becoming more and more of a concern for everyone associated with the industry, both senior levels and but all the way down into junior ranks.

“I think as much that can be done to stamp that kind of stuff out and make really hard calls when they pop up, the better.”

But the 376-gamer thinks the MRO’s grading system needs an overhaul.

“I think that’s where the AFL’s grading of the incidents really limits what they can do,” he said.

“And also I don’t know how the Kozzie (Pickett) one was graded ‘careless’ instead of ‘intentional’. By the system that has been set up, it’s a bit limiting with those really obvious ones.”

Kysaiah Pickett was reported for this hit in Melbourne’s 115-65 win over the Western Bulldogs. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP
Kysaiah Pickett will rebound from his ban for his hit on Bailey Smith, fellow Demon Ben Brown says. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Mundy bowed out of the game in last year’s semi-final loss to Collingwood as the Dockers’ all-time games record holder, having passed longtime captain, Matthew Pavlich.

But it won’t be long before he dusts off the boots again in a one-off cameo for a country Victorian club as part of The Carlton Draft.

The Carlton Draft gives struggling local clubs in regional Victoria the chance to draft in former stars of the AFL to play one-off games during the season.

“I was a little bit hesitant to be frank,” Mundy said of his participation in this year’s Carlton Draft.

“It was something that I hadn’t ever thought of since I’ve retired. But speaking with the guys coordinating it and how they set up it – clubs reach out who are in dire straits or haven’t won for a few years – and the idea of being able to give back, particularly in country Victoria, really appeals to me.

“So, it was a bit of a mind bend to get around. But I’m actually pretty excited about it.”

Mundy will be the most recently retired AFL great to pull on the boots this year so, while he hasn’t maintained the same fitness regime he lived at the Dockers, he’s hoping the muscle memory will be still there.

“I’m hoping the legacy of 20 years in the system has held on a little bit but I was playing with a hockey before Christmas,” he told

“And actually, the thought and prospect of soft tissue stuff has prompted me to kick back into gear in some respects.”

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