Agent SLAMS The AFL As Former Crow Takes The Club To Court

Apr 4, 2019

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Player agent and concussion campaigner Peter Jess says he has been in contact with the ex-Adelaide Crow taking legal action and says the AFL has been “absolutely negligent” in its treatment of players with brain injuries.

News broke on Wednesday that former Crow Sam Shaw was suing the club after he retired in 2016 due to concussion.

“I spoke to Sam earlier in the year when he had been treated by the AFL,” Mr Jess told the FIVEaa sports show.

“Principally he met with their concussion group and I think he was advised that his problems were going to be transitory, so that a point in time they would resolve and he would be able to get back to normal. That simply hasn’t happened.

“The choices [are] you either form part of the global challenge or you do it yourself. Either way the pathway is probably going to be not too different although he’s in the Supreme Court rather than the class action, which is in the Federal Court.

“As it stands now we have no rapid point of care diagnostic tools that actually can detect sub clinical concussions. If you can’t detect them then you can’t treat them, so then you have a build up of these sub clinical concussions where they get to a stage where your brain can no longer function properly so you have a whole range of issues.”

Mr Jess -- who says he works with about 100 footballers -- said he recently wrote to AFL chairman Richard Goyder.

“Because there’s no workers compensation they need then to sue,” Mr Jess said. “I said we shouldn’t be doing this. These are champions of the game, you should be looking after them.

“I’ve got blokes who have got motor neurone disease. I’ve got blokes who have got Parkinson’s disease. I’ve got one guy who is an icon of the game, cannot remember playing football -- that is shocking. He’s had his life stripped from him and what are we doing? ‘Sue us.’

“I think that the commission needs to understand where their moral compass is. They are bereft of any understanding of the extent of the damage that has been caused by this. The AFL in my view is absolutely negligent."

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