Brent Staker has admitted he has learned to accept he will always be remembered as the guy who was knocked out by Barry Hall.
The 2008 incident shocked the football world at the time, with Hall striking Staker with a vicious blow to the head.
Hall was suspended for seven weeks as a result of his actions, acknowledging it “could have killed” Staker.
Before competing on Channel Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior, Staker told Herald Sun Confidential: “I’ve got my head around the fact that people are always going to ask me about it. It’s just the way it is. It’s the kind of person I am.”
“I’m not going to get angry about it. I take it as it comes. If someone wants to talk seriously about it, I can. I, and I think Barry as well, don’t condone that sort of behaviour on the footy field. It’s dangerous.
“Unfortunately, I was person in the moment to highlight that that sort of thing should not happen.”
Asked how the incident had changed his life, Staker said: “I was 23 at the time. When you’re young, you move on. I didn’t think too much about it. I know my parents were quite shaken up.
“I was in the footy world, so you’ve got to keep training and playing, and you put it to the back of your mind. Now that I’ve retired, it makes you think about how things can change quite quickly.
“In life, with the one-punch rule, and incidents on the footy field, it makes you think a split second thing can change everything.
“I was lucky that no permanent or serious damage happened to me.”
Staker believes Hall does realise his actions were unacceptable.
“I think he shows genuine remorse,” Staker said. “And he’s right (about the punch being potentially lethal.)
“We’ve seen incidents probably less severe than that, and people can die. I landed on grass, and I didn’t land too awkwardly.”