Injured GWS Giants player Bríd Stack has written about her “anger” and “disillusionment” after Adelaide star Ebony Marinoff was cleared by the tribunal after a collision that left Stack with a broken neck.

Key points:

  • Bríd Stack wrote in her newspaper column that she had been left “totally disheartened” when Ebony Marinoff was cleared of dangerous contact
  • Stack wrote that she felt like a “scapegoat” because she was a “rookie” player.
  • Stack won 11 All-Ireland titles with County Cork and was named Gaelic footballer of the Year in 2016

Marinoff was handed a three-game ban — the longest ever handed down to an AFLW player — for her role in the incident, but that was overturned after a three-and-a-half-hour hearing on Thursday night.

Writing in her Irish Examiner column, Stack said the decision left her in tears, “totally disheartened by the outcome.”

“The news came up on a strapline across the bottom of the screen at the end of the third quarter [of the match between Carlton and Collingwood] that Marinoff had been cleared,” Stack wrote.

“My heart just sank. I broke down in tears.

“Within minutes, my teammate Cora Staunton, Alicia, the team-captain, and our head coach Alan McConnell, were in the apartment, trying to console me.

Stack wrote that she felt like a “scapegoat” for the incident and that the blame for the injury “seemed to be sitting at my door”.

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Ebony Marinoff smacks into Bríd Stack in an AFLW pre-season game

Stack said that the footage available “conclusively” proved that her feet were planted and that Marinoff took three steps before making contact with her stationary head.

“The biggest issue the AFL repeatedly stress is that the duty of care lies with the player who chooses to bump or tackle, no matter the opponent’s position.

“Marinoff’s tackle was much more than a footy collision and trying to justify it as such only further underlines why high tackles are so dangerous in sport.

“I didn’t want Marinoff to be hammered for the incident, but I wanted the tribunal’s decision to at least reflect that she didn’t show any duty of care to me.”

Stack said that she felt she was blamed for the incident by the Crows, despite the presentation of “laughable” evidence, because she was considered a rookie, despite her extensive and glittering Gaelic football career.

Stack is an 11-time All-Ireland winner with Cork and was named footballer of the year in 2016.

“It may be a different game, but I have played football all my life. I know how to protect myself. I’ve played in enough big games to know it’s not chess.”

Stack wrote that she was positive about her recovery and was thankful for all the support, both from AFL and AFLW players past and present.

“I still feel aggrieved but the most important thing for me now is to park the negatives and look towards the positives, particularly focusing on my rehab and recovery,” she wrote.