Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko has apologised to Melbourne’s Harrison Petty for making an “inappropriate comment” that left the Demons defender in tears at the Gabba on Friday night.
- Zorko says he is “remorseful” after the incident marred Friday night’s match
- Petty was visibly emotional at three-quarter time
- The Demons claim Zorko’s comment was about a family member of Petty’s
Zorko allegedly made a comment about a family member of Petty’s during the Demons’ 58-point win over the Lions.
Petty was visibly emotional during the three-quarter-time break, spending some time off the field before returning late in the match.
The incident sparked a heated discussion between Melbourne football manager Alan Richardson and his Brisbane counterpart Danny Daly, before Zorko was confronted by several Demons players at full-time.
The Lions released a club statement this afternoon in which Zorko admitted he acted inappropriately.
“I have apologised to Harrison for the inappropriate comment I made to him last night,” he said.
“I’m remorseful for my actions and take full responsibility for the hurt caused to Harrison, his family and the Melbourne Football Club.
“In reflection, I understand I need to be a better leader, and have spoken with the club, who have reinforced this.”
Zorko said he was “committed to controlling his emotions” in the wake of the incident.
Demons coach Simon Goodwin claimed Zorko’s comment was about a family member of Petty’s and the incident would be handed over to the AFL.
“Petts was a bit emotional at three-quarter time. He went away, re-set himself and came back into the game,” Goodwin said.
“That’s as much detail as we’re going to go into.”
Lions coach Chris Fagan said Zorko’s behaviour might have been sparked by his side’s performance against the Demons that all but extinguished their top-four ambitions.
However, Fagan defended Zorko’s character.
“He’s very passionate about our footy club and he would have been pretty disappointed at what was unfolding and that might have led to some frustration,” Fagan said.
“I’d like to have a look at some vision to have a real accurate feel about that because whilst his leadership might not have been up to standard tonight … he’s been great for us over the last four or five years.
“So I’m not going to cane him for one performance where he was potentially below par.”
Zorko is no stranger to post-match incidents with opponents after having two run-ins with Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller in the past.