With concussion talks ramping up upon the return of the AFL season, Bombers defender Jake Kelly has expressed his thoughts on the issue of concussion in the league and what the role of the player should be.
When asked for his initial reaction to the graphic Jeremy Howe injury on Friday night, Kelly took the chance to speak on the wider issue of being in dangerous situations on the football field as a player.
He admitted that he didn't watch any of the round one matches but was still firm in his opinion that "there has to be a duty of care" for players.
"When you can tackle a player... the decision to bump a player, whether it be head-high or below the head, I think that's careless," he said.
"(As) someone who's had a fair few concussions it really does worry me.
"I understand that it's a game and I like to think that I play that game in a competitive spirit, but... it's really worrying what's happening with these concussions around the world."
Kelly admitted that he was uncertain about whether the AFLPA will choose to make a statement regarding the brutal bump delivered by Kysaiah Pickett on Bailey Smith, and Shane McAdam on Jacob Wehr. However, he was clear in his belief that "it just doesn't make sense to me that you would choose to bump" when you can tackle or corral.
"One, for the fact that you'll get rubbed out and miss games. And two, for the fact that the person on the other end... it does give you a bit of trauma."
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"Given what's happened in the last two weeks with all these lawsuits and people globally coming out against concussion and saying they've been affected long-term, I just think that we as players should be mindful of it".
Kelly will feature in Round 2 on Sunday, March 26 as the Bombers host the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium.