David has been slapped with a 12-week ban for his high hit on Goliath over the weekend. The AFL Tribunal graded the hit as high, intentional, and causing severe damage. As is often the case with tribunal punishments, the medical report weighed heavily on the penalty handed down, and considering the hit subsequently caused Goliath’s death, the 12-week ban has been labelled by some observers as “lenient”.
The incident occurred in the final quarter of last Saturday’s clash between the full strength Goliath and the undersized David. As the game took a decidedly spiteful turn, David gathered a rock at half back and slingshotted it at Goliath, striking the bigger man in the forehead and causing Goliath to lurch forward to the ground with a fatal head injury.
At the tribunal hearing last night, David pleaded guilty and tendered a half-hearted claim of self defence, telling the panel that Goliath was “throwing his weight around in the second half and being a bit of a jerk”. In handing down their punishment, the Tribunal said that David’s act was exactly the kind of thing they want eradicated from the game.
Speaking to the media outside AFL House after the hearing, David said “I accept the Tribunal’s decision. If you do the crime you do the time, but sometimes in life you need to draw a line in the sand and stand up for what is right.” Goliath’s family requested privacy from the media during this difficult time.