AFL boss Gil McLachlan was knocked out so badly while playing footy that he suffered SEIZURES and was out cold for 40 minutes – but he says he wouldn’t change a thing about on-field career
Gillon McLachlan has lifted the lid on how he was knocked out for 40 minutes and suffered multiple seizures while playing amateur football, as the AFL chief weighed in on the concussion lawsuits against the league.
Injured football players are seeking up to $1 billion in compensation from the AFL in a landmark class action over the ‘serious damage’ caused by concussion.
But outgoing chief executive McLachlan explained how he accepted personal risk when he played at amateur level.
He said he was ‘comfortable’ with the competition’s legal position as there have been multiple rule changes in recent decades to to protect the head.
The AFL is expected to contribute as much as $10million per year towards a hardship fund as well as an improved insurance scheme so that each player could be covered up to $2million in extreme circumstances.
Gillon McLachlan has revealed he was knocked out for 40 minutes during his amateur career
Former Geelong star Max Rooke is the lead plaintiff for a 60-strong group of plaintiffs
However, McLachlan said his own personal experience taught him that there is an element of accepting personal risk when you step on a footy field.
‘There was risk out there. I was once knocked out for 40 minutes, had two seizures being knocked out,’ he told 3AW.
‘I am not talking to anyone else’s issues but with what I know, I don’t think about it. There is not one part of my football career or anything I have done with my body that I would change.’
He played for a decade at the University Blues in the VAFA, and was also on Carlton’s supplementary list in 1996-97.
McLachlan said the AFL would be ‘accountable’ to any law suits but insists it is ahead of many rival codes when it comes to concussion management.
‘I don’t think about the money or the cost (of law suits). The primary thing you think about is it’s a serious issue and it’s about the health and wellbeing of our athletes, male and female,’ McLachlan said.
But the outgoing AFL chief says that players have to accept an element of risk when playing