HomeSport‘Just insane’: AFL concussion victim refuses payout

‘Just insane’: AFL concussion victim refuses payout


Melbourne-based Peter Venables told the Herald Sun the offer of almost $800,000 from the AFL players union was “not enough” to care for West Coast Eagles premiership player Daniel, who suffered seven brain bleeds and permanent damage in an on-field “car crash” collision.Stream every match of every round of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >Venables also accused the AFL of “being out of their depth” in the treatment of concussion and was angered that the league allowed his son to be assessed by controversial concussion adviser Paul McCrory who is facing allegations of plagiarism.“They (the AFL PA) have offered us a payout but we haven’t accepted it,” Venables said.“It’s not enough and they also want to tax it.“I am paying for Daniel to live. My wife and I are looking after him. “We are not letting go of this, this is wrong. We ain’t going anywhere. The wall is coming down.”Concussion campaigner Peter Jess has estimated 23-year-old Daniel Venables, who was earning about $400,000 a year at West Coast, has lost $8 million-$10 million in career earnings.The Venables will in coming days put a submission into the AFL for several millions of dollars in compensation for Daniel that would be paid by the AFL and West Coast.The family also have the capacity to sue over the treatment of their son but are hopeful of being handed a more reasonable offer. “I get asked the question a lot about how I feel and I can’t articulate it,” Venables Sr said.“We have been very respectful as a family and had meetings with Gill McLachlan and (AFL legal expert) Stephen Meade and Peter Gordon and we have tried very hard to be respectful.“As an old footballer you don’t poke the bear. But they are cornered, they are snookered and Daniel will break this open for everyone (battling concussion).”Venables was treated by McCrory through the AFL concussion adviser’s role at the Florey Institute.But the family eventually ignored McCrory’s medical advice and the former Eagles player weaned himself off medication as he spiralled into depression amid the fallout of his concussions.Peter Venables says Daniel was told by the league they would formulate a plan for him after he was medically ruled out of football but nine months later no one had contacted him about the steps forward.He called on the league to show a leadership stance on concussion rather than protecting the code from legal complaints.“The AFL is like a rabbit in the headlights with this. They don’t know how to handle this stuff,” Venables said.“Daniel got hit and suffered seven brain bleeds. It was basically a car crash shown on live TV.“As a parent I don’t even know what to say (about him being treated by McCrory).“If it was your son and he was sent to an expert with seven brain bleeds, how would you feel if he was sent to an expert who didn’t turn out to be an expert?“Gillon McLachlan tells me that everyone keeps coming to him with different solutions. I am not angry at Gill, I am past being angry. It’s just insane.“They are so paralysed by this and they are so out of their depth. The medical world has surpassed them. There is a flood of this (concussion) coming through.“If you look at the AFL, they aren’t the experts on this. “We have had two years of following the experts. Instead of putting their big boy pants on and saying, ‘We don’t know’, they threw us to a person who said what they wanted to hear.”Daniel Venables was able to prove he suffered permanent damage only because he had an original scan through the AFL when he was concussed playing in the NAB League.Peter Venables says it is incredible that the league has not instituted league-wide base-level scanning for players so it can prove any damage throughout their careers.“Daniel got hit when he was playing for the Western Jets in his draft year so he had to get scanned at Sunshine Hospital and the AFL sent him to McCrory to get assessed and make sure everything was OK,” his father said.“When he got seven brain bleeds on TV there was no question the damage was done by football.“It is insane that they aren’t being scanned. This is supposed to be the most professional competition in Australia. “Every player should be scanned for their own good. On the weekend there were six concussions and the AFL keeps sending them out there. “Every player needs to be scanned and needs insurance.“If this was your son, how would you feel? There are more kids in this position. How can the AFL not protect its gladiators, you just send them out there.”

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