Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron has launched a spirited defence of suspended player Jeremy Cameron, saying the “assassination” of his character went too far.
The key forward was handed a five-game suspension for his hit on Brisbane defender Harris Andrews that resulted in brain bleeding and severe concussion.
Leon Cameron says his namesake must tweak his approach but some pundits should be “embarrassed and disappointed” by their commentary of the incident.
“The thing that disappointed me the most was what happened to Harris. The second thing was the assassination of Jeremy’s character from key people that had an agenda,” Cameron said.
“I was disappointed with a lot of people, especially people with prominent positions in AFL media. “Being a thug or a dog – those sort of words don’t relate to Jeremy Cameron.
“Relating those sorts of words to Jeremy, [they] should be embarrassed and disappointed because he’s not that. He’s a really good person. He goes 100 miles an hour. I’ve acknowledged we need to tweak areas of his game.”
GWS unsuccessfully argued at the tribunal on Tuesday night that Cameron “carelessly” struck Andrews rather than “intentionally”.
The majority of criticism has focused on the act itself, but Cameron’s supposed lack of contrition has also been in the headlines. Leon Cameron and the Giants’ response to the incident – plus the club’s culture – have also been attacked.
“The concern we had straight after the game was for Harris,” Leon Cameron said. “What he [Jeremy Cameron] did after the game was spot on.
“I thought the club handled it really really well – from the time it happened to the sentence last night. That’s disappointing that people are going to make those sort of comments.
“It wasn’t an incident that we’ve seen in the past … in terms of a king hit … so, we didn’t get on the front foot because of that reason. We feel for Harris … our main concern is Harris can come back and play football.”
Leon Cameron talked to Lions counterpart Chris Fagan on Sunday, while Jeremy Cameron reached out to Andrews via text message.