Was it a fair punishment?

Last Sunday during an AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, Andrew Gaff struck opponent Andrew Brayshaw in the face. The 18-year-old was left with a broken jaw and dislodged teeth. This week Gaff faced the music and was handed an 8 game suspension for his actions, he has also apologised for the attack "I feel so sorry for what has now happened to Andrew. I never intended for this to happen.""Once I saw him lying on the ground, I instantly felt sick … mentally I didn't want to keep playing." Some people believe Gaff should have faced criminal charges while others think the incident has been blown out of proportion. So LiveTribers, do you think the punishment was fair or too harsh? Since Gaff pleaded guilty and showed remorse for his actions, should the punishment have been less severe?

Posted by on 09 Aug 2018

tweet this
  • [0] [0]

    From my memory A guy (who happened to be a solicitor) had his jaw broken while playing NRL and he sued the guy that broke it. The result tof this action the person who broke his jaw declared himself bankrupt to stop the solicitor from making any monetary gain. What I am saying the footballer is quite at liberty to sue if he wants.

    Posted by socker on 14 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    The nature of the contest and human reaction to the contest led to this violence as it has done before and will continue while the game is played

    Posted by Edward on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    I believe that the punishment was harsh. The ones on trial should be the umpires who allowed the game to deteriorate by not stopping the gross gut punches going on by the undisciplined Dockers right from the beginning

    Posted by Carsie on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    I think it was pretty fair

    Posted by Sanjipanj on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    if It was a work place incident anywhere else would be instant dismissal and criminal charges WHY is football different??

    Posted by Pauline on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    He should of faced criminal charges. He knew better. Just like the recent one punch attack in Melbourne. The justice system again, fails us.

    Posted by Peter on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    The AFL is a joke - they condone good players like Gaff being subjected to gut punches, kidney punches, "jumper punches," bumping, jostling, scragging and being held onto, and it's all part of the "man's game," but when one retaliates and accidentally hits someone on the head they get all sanctimonious and apply long suspensions to "protect the players."

    Posted by Windog on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    I don't think it's a fair punishment, he's been let off the hook a bit too easy.

    Posted by Dee on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    Punishment was fair, plus he admitted that he was sorry for what he did

    Posted by Lubi on 13 Aug 2018

  • [1] [0]

    the punishment was fair and appropriate

    Posted by fotgetit on 13 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    The AFL has to bring in a card system, red card and you are out of the match. That would hurt the club as well. It happens in all proper footfall games. It should happen in aerial ping pong as well.

    Posted by Gail on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [0]

    I don't think is fair for the punishment he received. He should be taken to court and not play again. I think AFL board of management really need to have a zero tolerant pocily on player's punching and punching each other during the game. And rules should be like in basketball. Player's should be send of the field's and never to play until tribunal etc.

    Posted by Miriam on 12 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    I believe it was an unfair match yes ik the other bloke was pushing him but what do u expect its a contact Sport I believe a free kick should of been out in place and that he should be suspended till further notice now the poor boy is stuck with a broken jaw and teeth missing for the rest of his life his lucky he didn't get him in the head

    Posted by Christina on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [0]

    No, it wasn't a fair punishment. The crime committed deserved a more severe sentence. In the media's coverage of AFL Players who stand before the Tribunal, i get the general impression they are most often let off lightly for their too often violent contributions when playing matches and so many people in our society are exposed to this sport in many ways throughout our daily lives that especially with regards to children, the sentencing of violent offences should be shown a zero tolerance policy and sentencing options passed down by the Tribunal should be penalised in a way whereby the penalty acts as a strong deterrent for future. I think the AFL player in the media this week should have lost his position in his team for 12 months.

    Posted by Catherine on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [0]

    Punishment was inadequate, it matters not that Gaff is sorry & has shown remorse. Point here is that he admitted to striking the 18 yr old on the chest or head or whatever, this brings to light that he INTENDED to strike his opponent in the first place AND whilst AWAY FROM THE BALL. Why didn't Gaff just push and shove him like they all do in the game? Did he think he was in the midst of a drunken brawl or what, SHAME,SHAME,SHAME!! I mean what if the young man never got up or worse lost consciousness, ah! What then, someone please tell me. A ONE PUNCH STRIKE HAS NO PLACE ON THE PLAY GROUNDS, OK. Gaff should face criminal charges AND BANNED FOR 12 MONTHS, not lousy 8 months.

    Posted by Jonda on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [1]

    Enough is enough !!! Time to get tougher when there is seriously harm to another player.GOT TO REMBER ALL THE ONES WHO DIED PLAYING IN THIS GAME.IF THEY DID THIS OUT ON THE STREET THEY WOULD BE IN COURT ##

    Posted by jaine on 12 Aug 2018

  • [0] [1]
    Grandma Pink

    I cannot recall any player who has passed away due to being injured during a game … there have been players who died through medical conditions. I don't condone what Andrew Gaff did just wanting you to get facts correc5t

    Posted by Grandma Pink on 13 Aug 2018

  • [1] [0]

    There is no excuse for assault in a game. if you hit someone on the street you can get charged by the police; the same should hold for anywhere. Come on boys; it IS ONLY A GAME!

    Posted by BRUCE on 12 Aug 2018

  • [1] [0]
    Varun Rengarajan

    I dont think so. He has done a severe injury to another human being which cannot be forgiven just because he apologized for his actions. If the punishments have been made less severe due to his apology, it may act as a precedent to cause injury intentionally . His apology for his actions shows good sportsmanship, but it cannot be used as an excuse to reduce his punishment.

    Posted by Varun Rengarajan on 12 Aug 2018

  • [3] [0]

    he should be charged with assault and face the full impact of the justice system..and removed from the game for a minimum of 1 year..there is far to much of this going on today...this is no longer sport..,there has to be an example made NOW...so lets START HERE

    Posted by Russell on 12 Aug 2018

  • [1] [2]

    I think it was an incident that ended badly. I believe Gaff was truly upset with what went down. He's been an exceptional player who stuffed up. Let him do his time and get on with the game. Was not intentional. I hope Brayshaw recovers well

    Posted by Faye on 12 Aug 2018

  • [0] [6]

    Football is a physical game shit happens suck it up. Only if three is proof of deleberate intent to hurt should action be taken.

    Posted by Joy on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    I don't believe it was a criminal assault nor was it intended to be. The 8 weeks is fair and I feel sorry for Brayshaw that it this happened to him. I believe that Gaff will carry guilt for this incident for a very long time to come.

    Posted by Marlene on 12 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]

    Forgot to mention - NO - it was not a KING HIT. They were face to face. What's the difference by saying you would support the incident if it were toe-to-toe. I am a little confused by that comment.

    Posted by Pedro24 on 12 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    I have just spent time going through all the comments and have come to the conclusion that a lot of people have a very biased opinion. In most cases people want criminal charges, life bans etc.. How many of you have actually played Ausie Rules. I have and if you think it is violent now, you should have seen it in the Sixties and Seventies (and probably earlier). It was a lot more physical then. Did you all see and take note of the interview Andrew Brayshaw did on Channel 7 on Thursday night with Basil Zempilis? I think his opinion counts for more than the comments here. Kneejerk reactions and vindictiveness helps no-one.

    Posted by Pedro24 on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [1]

    He got off easy. Yes football is a contact sport, a sport for the tough but this is not tough. If he stood toe to toe and thru punches I would support him but people who throw punches from behind (king hit), thats not tough thats weak as piss and should be dealt with by the law as its outside the realm of the sport.

    Posted by goose48 on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [2]

    I think that the punishment was fair . Its a contact sport

    Posted by MallyDee on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [1]

    It was sickening ,he got off too lightly ,being sorry after the fact does not help the young 18 year old who could well be be so traumatised that he may give the game away ,so a promising career may be aborted.. ,, no a harsher penalty for this type of behaviour is needed ,to make sure this does happen again..

    Posted by robin on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [1]

    Eight games is nothing. Andrew B has months of pain and trauma ahead. He has massive dental work to be done. That alone is likely to be problematic on and off for the rest of his life. If Andrew G had punched Andrew B in the chest, it could have killed him. It could have caused a heart attack or collapsed a lung. A PUNCH is a punch no matter where it is. Sport should not display such uncontrolled aggression. It is assault and should be treated as such. Not the kind of role modelling we need. We see enough bad behaviour on the tennis.

    Posted by marli on 12 Aug 2018

  • [1] [1]

    should have been kicked out of AFL

    Posted by Adam on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    This is an examplev of double standards. The person who delivers a coward punch on the street can look forward to being charged by the police so why should a sporting personality think that he/she is any different from a private citizen. Why is the Government spending so much money trying to eliminate violence yet not charging Andrew Gaff for assault?

    Posted by Whizbang on 12 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    I think his punnishment is very much fair

    Posted by Racheal on 12 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    this mongrel got off lightly (i seen the footage) personally he should face criminal charges & in addition should be banned from sport for life. This should not be tolerated ever & a message has to be sent to others stating this is what happens if you do this sort of thing. If you were in the street you would be charged & so should this turd

    Posted by Acid-Rain on 11 Aug 2018

  • [2] [4]

    The sporting field is no place for his actions. If this is what he does on the field what is he like behind closed doors. A lifetime suspension should apply.

    Posted by michb on 11 Aug 2018

  • [2] [4]

    the punishment was too harsh

    Posted by karuna on 11 Aug 2018

  • [3] [4]

    I honestly think 8 games is enough he felt so bad for doing it

    Posted by Kyarna on 11 Aug 2018

  • [2] [0]

    He felt bad - you say. How do you think the recipient of the coward's violence felt then and now and will in the future?

    Posted by marli on 12 Aug 2018

  • [5] [4]

    The bloke made one mistake. He has an impeccable record. We shouldn't crucify hi, for one error in judgement. He's copped 8 weeks. Let's move on.

    Posted by Pup69 on 11 Aug 2018

  • [2] [5]

    Longer suspension!

    Posted by Lizelle on 11 Aug 2018

  • [4] [5]

    They should of ripped up his contract sacked him on the spot and then took him to the cops and charged him

    Posted by ace666 on 11 Aug 2018

  • [6] [2]

    No matter what is the circumstances, they should get charge for the violence. No excuse.

    Posted by Mikan on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    I would like to see , a double time, of what the injured player has to be out of the game.

    Posted by Glenda on 10 Aug 2018

  • [1] [5]

    give him the same as Andrew ,the rest of the season off and a couple of weeks on the broken jaw diet

    Posted by grean on 10 Aug 2018

  • [4] [3]

    Should've been charged and longer suspension

    Posted by Coral on 10 Aug 2018

  • [4] [5]

    It was a bit savage to receive 8 weeks. He regreted it and it was out of character as a spur of the moment. Both handled themselves very well, let us get on with the game. I was proud of what they both said.

    Posted by Carsie on 10 Aug 2018

  • [1] [0]

    I expect elite sportspeople to have control of their decisions and actions.

    Posted by marli on 12 Aug 2018

  • [2] [5]

    Honestly it was a love tap delivered with enough momentum that they are both regretting their decisions. The young bloke for shoving and pushing a more mature footy player (notice the wrapped shoulder) and Gaff for plugging the little boy on field. I’d be distraught either way

    Posted by Jacinta on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    you are a nutcase a love tap would not have done the damage that was done. look at the person with the broken jaw & eating via a straw for god knows how long & the loss of teeth, should be permanently banned from sport & face criminal charges

    Posted by Acid-Rain on 11 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    I agree with you. This niggling, shoving, pushing and even slapping happens all the time and the umpires let it go instead of penalising the first instance in a game. so they let it go and the players become emboldened. The younger guy was getting away with it and finally Andrew Gaff had had enough of the scragging and whacked him one just as Andrew Brayshaw lowered his body. the result - a terrible injury and a horrified "villain". Sure he had to be penalised and heavily but I do feel sorry for a guy who has had an unblemished career and retaliated after enduring a bit too much. Track the actions throughout the match of the young guy and ask yourself why do players do this and why don't umpires stop it? In the Adelaide v Brisbane match I heard one of the commentators say that what Brisbane should do would be to come pout and rough up the Crows before the bounce! This would unsettle them, he said. They did and the umpire ignored it. Now we have this terrible situation.

    Posted by hispania on 10 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    NO !!! what happens next time the moron dose the same thing , he should have been charged with assault by the police , all these thugs should that go around hitting people for NO reason , STUPIDITY !!!!!!

    Posted by Bob on 10 Aug 2018

  • [5] [0]

    Presumably all sports persons are provided with codes of conduct guidelines and rules and regulations documentation, given talks and sign agreements covering almost all aspects of their tenure whilst being hired by sporting clubs. Therefore, incidents such as the Gaff / Brayshaw attack should be dealt with in accordance to the regulations of the sport and signed agreements. Ordinary citizens on the street must abide by the laws of the land; being inside a sports arena should not mean persons are exempt. If the conduct falls within the sporting regulations, then that law should be applied. If the conduct also is deemed an offence under the laws of the land then that also must be applied.

    Posted by SayCheese on 10 Aug 2018

  • [2] [2]

    Stop using violence as part of sport.You are role model for young ppl.Then you are responsible.If you wish to fight then go in ring.We as nation have to teach young ppl since early age to be better then bully in world and life.Bully are just cowards.Our LAW system is crap where person can get away with king hitterape,killing.We MUST change law to protect VICTIMS not idiots who did that.Then idiot judges use they "past" as alcohol, drugs,Who cares he done crime and he must end up in real jail where they have to work for food.Or send JUDGES in jail.If we do not change law and stupid judges who read so many "book" but they are stupid then get rid of them.AU people who cares for UN or POPE who said no death penalty Those do not pay our mortgages,or bills.They do not care for victims our kids.Then if we do not stand up then we are wrong Simple we are real POWER not GOV.Think who is next to be king hitteraped,killed? Thank you

    Posted by Izet on 10 Aug 2018

  • [2] [2]

    he is sorry for what he did one punch dosent solve anything lucky didn't kill.him

    Posted by pinkf on 10 Aug 2018

  • [1] [1]
    Captain Nightowl

    It should be an 8 week Minimum, but should include an addition time until the victim returns to play again, in other words , he cannot return to the game until the victim is fully recovered and playing again

    Posted by Captain Nightowl on 10 Aug 2018

  • [1] [3]

    No. You DO NOT not somebody just like that and over something like that. THAT is a bully and I do not like bullies. Had he not gotten suspended, he would NOT have apologised and would still think that his behaviour is acceptable. He deserves more time off to change his attitude. What he got was a slap on the wrist and it's only until next time.

    Posted by Shani on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    I think it was unfortunate. If Andrew B hadn't sagged at the knees it would have hit him in the chest. Even Andrew B's father has said same or similar. It is reported that Andrew would have been fit to play in four weeks in the Dockers were in the Finals. This , according to some comments, would reduce Andrew Gaffs penalty to 4 and not 8 weeks. Unfortunate incident but both will come out stronger in the end. Penalty appropriate.

    Posted by Pedro24 on 10 Aug 2018

  • [1] [5]

    No it was not fair he should have got a year ban so no other player does it

    Posted by Brian on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    As far as I am concerned he should have been banned for life, that is not the sort behaviour we should be seeing on our playing fields. Our kids look up to these players and they are giving the kids the wrong impressions. I think any player who physically hurts another player intentionally should be banned for life.

    Posted by gnomeaust on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [1]

    I think his 8 game ban should be added to his being excluded from the game for whatever time his victim also has to spend off the field as a result of this brain snap

    Posted by cren123 on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [4]

    Gaff got off lightly if you ask me. He's an Idiot who could've ruined another players life. 1-2 years suspension and paying all Medical Bills and Compensation should have been the punishment...not a slap on the wrist and being told "don't do it again, there's a good boy"...

    Posted by 1redladybird on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    I believe Australian Rules has the potential to become a World Game due to speed, marking, running & bouncing, major & minor scores. But only if it eliminates the violence. I don't just mean punching, but also charging, shirt fronting etc. 8 weeks to avoid criminal charges - that's a light sentence. But the real issue is all the other on-field violence that is effectively sanctioned by the AFL because it goes unpunished.

    Posted by KevinW on 10 Aug 2018

  • [0] [1]
    old chook

    Totally agree!! I hate watching all this pushing and shoving of players, even before the game starts. I keep telling my grandsons that that behaviour is extremely childish and not something for them to admire and follow. Umpires aren't doing their jobs properly!! Come to that, nor is the AFL!!!

    Posted by old chook on 12 Aug 2018

  • [3] [1]

    I think 8 weeks is fair, id even say a fine and medical bills but who knows that may be discussed privately (medical bills anyway) Not criminal charges. Not an end to his career for a first time mistake. Now if he made a habit of it, different story. Every afl player goes in knowing there is an element of risk and things can heat up. Both players in this instance were niggling each other, gaff went too far, no doubt. The brayshaws have said they not looking for charges, andrew has said himself he holds no grudge. You can tell gaff is remorseful. Time to let it go, let brayshaw recover and gaff come to terms with what he done and its affects.

    Posted by squeekums1 on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [4]

    He should be kicked off the team.

    Posted by Christine on 10 Aug 2018

  • [8] [4]

    He should be charged. Violence can never be accepted. One punch hits can kill people. NO TOLERANCE TO VIENCE EVER!!!!

    Posted by intransigent on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [1]

    It was a fair call.

    Posted by Karen on 09 Aug 2018

  • [5] [0]

    If I punch a coworker I will be sacked and face criminal charges

    Posted by Bo on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [0]

    Well Afl is a tough game. But he should have thought about his actions before doing what he had done but I guess he will learn from his lessons.

    Posted by Zara-may on 09 Aug 2018

  • [0] [3]

    No Way he should have got a year and criminal charged

    Posted by Spangles1964 on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    NO!! A cricketer roughed up a ball and several of the team were banned for a lengthy period. This clown hit another player doing serious damage and he gets an 8 match suspension?? That is not fair. He should be banned for at least two years, and take anger management training.

    Posted by Aurora on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [2]

    Totally unfair,double it, hit him in the chest, send him to spec savers

    Posted by David on 09 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    How come police was not involved is this case?

    Posted by Imtiaz on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    If this had happen off the playing field, he would be up on so many charges and be facing serious jail time. So, no the punishment is not enough, he needs to face criminal charges.

    Posted by Mustang6000 on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [2]

    The punishment was too little, he should have got at least 12 weeks and should be criminally charged, there are too many of these coward punchers getting of too lightly

    Posted by richard04 on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [4]

    No way. He should've got at least 10 weeks. That was a deliberate punch to the face. I have no sympathy for Gaff.

    Posted by Leonidas_46 on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [2]

    Check the video of the match. Andrew B sagged at the knees just as Andrew G threw the punch. He wasn't aiming for the head.

    Posted by hispania on 10 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    The punishment was fair, he was genuinely sorrowful of his actions, I do believe accidents happen, but in saying that I think he may pay financially in the long run, as he should!

    Posted by Sharon on 09 Aug 2018

  • [6] [2]

    it was not an accident ! it was deliberate which there is no excuse for

    Posted by julie on 09 Aug 2018

  • [5] [1]

    Assault is assault even if you are playing a GAME or not. At the end of the day they get played for playing a game, and not doing anything for the betterment of Humankind. Stop pandering to them, make them do some real work for a change.

    Posted by Gilgamesh on 09 Aug 2018

  • [2] [1]

    I am not a fan of the sport, or the teams involved, however if one watches the playback properly, you will find that both boys are at fault, each team had an agenda to prove and the grudge was well shown on both sides, if this is " Sport " then maybe it should be " M " rated, but hey, sports like Boxing, and Cage Fighting and even Rugby is rough. So should we be Nit Picking All Sports, I don't think so, what happened happened and its all over Why is it that every one keeps harping about it

    Posted by dunbaylass on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    I think his season should be over and he should be fined + pay for any medical bill. A life time ban seems a little too much. Everyone makes mistakes.

    Posted by 8181 on 09 Aug 2018

  • [0] [0]


    Posted by squeekums1 on 10 Aug 2018

  • [3] [1]

    If this happened out on the street the public would bay for blood. It happens on a sports field where young people see an idol get a tap on the hand as punishment for a cowardly sneak attack by someone who knew better..makes you wonder. His parents must be so ashamed of his actions. A life ban might be a little harsh but a season ban, behaviour management course and a mandatory 6 months serving as an orderly in A&E at a busy hospital might just wake this young man up.

    Posted by Blondecat on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [4]

    Life ban . see how fast it all stops

    Posted by John on 09 Aug 2018

  • [2] [3]

    Jail time. 1 week in a padded cell should do. The naughty corner was made for a reason. to stop kids from being too rowdy. Id like to see more use of psychological realignment. ( This is not in support of brainwashing as everyone has the right to sanity. Its just when people go on impulse at such a high level of athleticism it will be hard to stop them. We can see this within young Ben Cousins. )

    Posted by Samuel on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    In my view it is a fair punishment as the player can have realization of what he has done and the next player who is injured can also have satisfaction

    Posted by Diwakar on 09 Aug 2018

  • [3] [3]

    He should be banned fpr life . See how fast tjis sprt of thing stops

    Posted by John on 09 Aug 2018

  • [5] [2]

    Absolutely agree with you! it was a deliberate and unprovoked hit.

    Posted by zany on 09 Aug 2018

  • [4] [2]

    The punishment was too little, he should have got at least 12 weeks and should be criminally charged, there are too many of these coward punchers getting of too lightly

    Posted by richard04 on 09 Aug 2018

Join LiveTribe
Thousands of Aussies and Kiwis have already discovered the benefits of their FREE LiveTribe membership. Join and start earning online today! Sign Up
Get Rewarded!

Comment on brands, products and services and be rewarded for your opinions! Join in and discover LiveTribe’s extensive range of rewards.

View More
Join Our Monthly Competition!

Enter for a chance to win a $100 prize. 345 x 145

Members Testimonials
"This is a great site. Love doing their surveys." Lyn B., QLD
"Just found out I won $150 in the competition – Thank you LiveTribe." Mary H., SA
"Boy! Am I happy, to win a $150 Hoyts voucher, I love my movies." Barbara F., VIC
"Awesome survey giving so much information on mining, thank you." Elizabeth A., WA
"My rewards from LiveTribe just keep rolling in. Keep it going, LiveTribe" Frank B., VIC