MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Grant Thomas, coach of St Kilda, speaks at a press conference after the AFL Second Elimination Final between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground September 8, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Grant Thomas hits out at AFL

Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas has slammed the AFL over its treatment of troubled former star Ben Cousins.

Counsins was in the news against last night, with reports that the premiership player and 2005 Brownlow Medalist, was taken to hospital following an incident with Police, in which he was reportedly attempting to direct traffic in the middle of a busy highway.

Thomas wrote on Twitter that the league should have done far more to help Cousins, who has a history of drug abuse.

“We’ve been hearing about Ben Cousin’ massive downward spiral for years but AFL don’t want a bar of it. Another incident overnight,” Thomas wrote.

“AFL only interested in society initiatives that promote their brand. Not interested in “real” issues. Too hard. Want distance. Damage brand.”

Cousins played 238 games for the Eagles, before being sacked by the club in 2007 due to off-field issues. He then joined the Tigers in 2009, after a 12-month lay-off from AFL football, playing 32 games in two seasons with his new club.


  1. Was thinking the same thing this morning. Well said Thomas. The AFL needs to get its head out of its own backside and either start genuinely helping with community issues or stop pretending they care to make their image more attractive.

  2. Hang on, richmond gave him a life line to sort his life out
    I have absolutely no sympathy for some one who knowingly takes illicit drugs. Then who is given more than one opportunity for rehabilitation
    I’m sick of seeing his name linked to today’s AFL, yes he is a former player, Brownlow winner and premiership player, but he has made HIS own choices in life. The AFL is not to blame for his current issues.

    • So a Telstra employee leaves and Telstra are meant to baby then 5 yrs later , a postal worker 5 yrs later , and bank employee and so on . . Because he played afl football what makes him different to other employees

  3. When dose one help themselves and take responsibility for themselves…he is an adult isn’t he …and didn’t he get payed for his pound of flesh for playing football….he is a drug taken flog

  4. Agree AFL should help him but he has to help himself and ask for help and put himself in rehab,theirs so much people can do for someone without helping themselves

  5. Please come back to footy classified . The show is crap since you left . Your honest opinion was well worth watching , I didn’t always agree but you spoke what you believed

  6. Why should he get any special treatment he made those choices! So your saying that every employer should be held responsible for every employee that decide to go down his path. He made his bed now he can lay in it. Oh poor Ben you’ve had more help then any normal person hooked on the ice pity you cant do it for your kids mate!!!!

  7. The Eagles should have done more as well didn’t care as long as they won a premiership, they knew what was going on, but just dumped him because he might have given them a bad name, they should take a lot of the blame for destroying a persons life.

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