Dayne Zorko apologises to Harrison Petty, Demons over sledge

Dayne Zorko has apologized to Harrison Petty and the Demons after he made comments during Friday night’s Brisbane loss to Melbourne at the Gabba.

Petty was visibly emotional after three quarters and several of his teammates raised the issue with Zorko in the final quarter and after the game was over.

In a statement on Saturday, the Brisbane skipper admitted his actions were inappropriate.

“I apologized to Harrison for the inappropriate comment I made to him last night,” he said.

“I regret my actions and accept full responsibility for the injuries inflicted on Harrison, his family and Melbourne Football Club.

“Thinking about it, I understand I need to be a better leader and have spoken to the club who have reiterated that.”

The club also revealed that Zorko had been approached by senior staff including CEO Greg Swann and manager Chris Fagan.

Zorko could still face sanctions after completing an AFL investigation.

After the game, Melbourne football manager Alan Richardson revealed Petty believed Zorko had made an “over the top” comment to his opponent.

Coach Simon Goodwin said the same thing in his post-game press conference, confirming the AFL would investigate the matter.

“Petts thought he heard something inappropriate about a family member, he was a little upset about it,” Goodwin said.

“The Lions have spoken to us and of course the AFL will look into it, but those are pretty much the details we can give at the moment. We will turn it over to the AFL.”

Goodwin said he felt Brisbane had handled the matter well as a club.

“Petts was a little emotional after three quarters, he walked away, reorganized and came back into the game,” Goodwin said.

“Brisbane have been quite apologetic to us and that’s the kind of football club they are.

“They are a very respected, humble football club and we take them at their word.”

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan had little to add after losing 115-57 on home soil.

“I can’t really enlighten it for you because I would just make it up and I don’t want to do that,” Fagan said.

“I would be concerned that one of our players was involved in such an incident, but I won’t judge right now because I don’t know enough about it.”

Zorko was criticized for his actions throughout the game after his emotions seemed to get the better of him at times.

“He is very passionate about our football club and he would have been quite disappointed with what has developed and that could have caused some frustration,” Fagan added.

“I’d like to look at a vision to get a really accurate feel for it because while his leadership tonight might not have been up to standard…he’s been great for us over the last four or five years so I won’t go for him beating up a performance he may have underperformed at.

The result all but knocks the Lions out of the top four, while only a big Sydney win over St Kilda will knock Melbourne out of second place.

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