Richmond forward Ty Vickery has apologised for flooring West Coast Eagles ruckman Dean Cox.
Condemned Richmond forward Ty Vickery will learn his fate on Monday after apologising for committing one of football’s cardinal sins.
Vickery found West Coast ruckman Dean Cox’s jaw with a roundhouse punch on Friday night, just days after the Eagles legend announced this year would be his last.
He apologised publicly on Sunday afternoon.
“I just want to unreservedly apologise to Dean and his family – it would have been hard to see him go through what he had to,” Vickery told Fox Sports.
“I’ve attempted to make contact but haven’t got through to him yet, but I want to offer him an apology personally.”
“In the heat of the game I overstepped the mark with my physicality and aggression.”
A punishment from the Match Review Panel awaits, with a three-week ban, reduced from four weeks with an early guilty plea, appearing likely.
However there is still the possibility of a direct referral to the AFL Tribunal, which could lay the groundwork for a longer ban.
Cox slumped to the ground after the hit, substituted out of the game shortly after with concussion.
The 24-year-old Tiger heard all about it from Cox’s teammates, then from a parochial Patersons Stadium crowd.
Now he’s copping it from the AFL community.
Essendon goalkicking legend Matt Lloyd said a three-match ban would not be enough, while Brisbane legend Michael Voss supported a public apology.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said Vickery was “remorseful” and the club would was braced for his punishment. “We as a footy club understand that, and so we’ll go through the due process and cop our whack,” he told Channel 7′s Game Day.
Two current players took to Twitter to condemn the strike, with Brisbane’s Pierce Hanley declaring it a “S**t act” and Adelaide Crows forward Taylor Walker saying “What a disgrace!!!”
Their thoughts were echoed by fans while Vickery’s teammates rallied to his defence.
Brett Deledio said his side would support him if, as widely expected, Vickery is handed a lengthy ban.
“We encourage Ty to play aggressive, obviously we don’t like to king-hit blokes or swing arms like that,” Deledio said.
“If he does get rubbed out we’ll miss him.
As Vickery went to the bench at Patersons Stadium, he was harangued by irate Eagles fans, who were within touching distance of the player.
The incident has sparked calls to create greater separation between fans and players at the Perth venue.
“We had to walk through the crowd and it’s probably not the most happy environment at that stage,” Hardwick said.
“It was a little bit intimidating.”
Richmond won the match played in wet conditions by 17 points to stay alive in the hunt to play finals football.