Campbell Brown sacked from Gold Coast Suns
Axe falls, with Suns chief executive Travis Auld the executioner, following Suns veteran's jaw-breaking brawl with teammate Steven May.PT2M13S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2yqqm 620 349 December 4, 2013
We’ve apologised to each other and I’ve checked in with him to see how he’s been going pre and post surgery, and we’ll continue to be friends
A "spur of the moment mistake" has ended Campbell Brown’s 205-game career, with Gold Coast sacking the veteran for breaking young teammate Steven May’s jaw outside a Los Angeles nightclub. The Suns decided after conducting a week-long investigation that they had no alternative but to dismiss Brown, who on Wednesday wished he could go back in time and take back the "regrettable incident" at the end of the club’s overseas training camp.
Campbell Brown fights back the tears as he speaks to the media at Metricon Stadium on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images
Chief executive Travis Auld said that while the investigation had determined May had not been ‘‘king hit’’ by Brown, the severity of the 21-year-old’s injuries had been ‘‘a factor’’ in the decision to release Brown from his contract for 2014.
May had surgery last weekend to have two plates inserted in his jaw, and Brown said he had made amends with his teammate and been in touch with him before and since his operation.
The 30-year-old, a premiership player at Hawthorn, said there had been no build-up to the incident, which occurred outside the nightclub while a group of Suns and Brown’s former Hawks teammate Josh Gibson present.
‘‘Not at all. Steve and I are friends. We’ve apologised to each other and I’ve checked in with him to see how he’s been going pre and post surgery, and we’ll continue to be friends,’’ said Brown, who signed a one-year contract extension late last season.
‘‘Obviously I’m really disappointed. It’s not the way any player wants to finish their career, but I think the process the club went through was very thorough and very fair. They got all the facts, they took their time and made sure that everything was ticked off and I’ve been more than happy with the way the process has happened.
‘‘I’m really disappointed at the way it’s gone, but I take full responsibility for my actions on the night. Your actions have consequences, and clearly it’s helped finish my career.’’
Auld credited Brown for the courage he had shown throughout his career, both as a player for Hawthorn and the Suns but also in making the move to Queensland three years ago to join the fledgling club.
‘‘People make mistakes but it takes a bit of courage to put your hand up and admit you’ve made a mistake, and Campbell’s done that. I think people respect that,’’ Auld said.
Brown was also one of the competition’s most-suspended players, rubbed out for 29 games in his 12-year career. He was due to miss the start of next year after being suspended for four matches in round 20 last season.
‘‘I think I’m the type of guy that has given everything I’ve possibly got for two footy clubs,’’ Brown said. ‘‘I have left nothing in the tank and trained as hard as I could and tried to play as hard as I could. I crossed the line a few times but I can walk away from the game with my head held high.’’
The Suns consulted the AFL Players Association while conducting their investigation. Ian Prendergast, the AFLPA’s general manager of player relations, said the union ‘‘respects and supports the process the club has gone through in its investigation of the matter and we will continue to provide ongoing support for both players”.