And now he’s taking a stand against the league’s attitude towards concussion with what he believes has been a poor duty of care.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that the AFL are sh***ing themselves,” Barnes told SEN’s Time On.
“They know the avalanche is coming, they’re holding on and I don’t know what they’re holding on for. They need to come out and make a statement.
“It’s duty of care, it’s the compensation fund that every football is entitled to, which they don’t get.
“It won’t be long until I can’t work at all and the AFL is not going to give a stuff about that and they think we are going away, but we’re not.
“The fight’s real, the fight’s huge and they know they are on a hiding to nothing. That’s the greatest thing about it, I want to see them sit up there and say sorry and watch them all go back into their little rat holes like they do.
“They won’t admit it, I know they won’t, but at least we’ll get some justice … not just for me but for the next footballers that come through.”