Dayne Zorko’s sled: Lion says he was provoked into sledding Demon Harrison Petty’s mother, AFL News

Dayne Zorko says he was provoked into aiming at Demon Harrison Petty’s mother, but the Lions skipper admits he “crossed the line” with the derogatory insult.

After drawing widespread criticism for moving Demon defender Petty to tears in the finals at the Gabba last Friday night, a remorseful Zorko said he would “take it back” if he could when making his comments public on Wednesday made.

Zorko took aim at Petty’s mum with a derogatory slur in the third trimester, with the Brisbane skipper admitting he had “crossed the line”.

The Lions skipper has faced questions about whether he deserves to remain captain next season, but said the position has always been agreed by the playing group and he would accept whatever they decided.

Zorko apologized to Petty after the game, but the five-time Lions best-and-fairest felt it was important that he address comments made in the “heat of the game.”

He said comments were flown in from players on both teams and that his sled was not “unprovoked”.

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“Obviously I apologized to Harrison for the last siren and that apology obviously still stands,” Zorko said on SEN.

“I guess my regrets still stand. If I could take it back, no doubt I would.

“For me, I want to convey that it was an intense game and from the first jump going back and forth on both sides of the fence, the players on the other side of the field were probably stepping to the line throughout the game.

“I admit I certainly exceeded that. I think for me it’s really important that Lions fans and fans in general understand that it wasn’t just an unprovoked slide and that it wasn’t said in isolation.

“As I said, there was a back and forth throughout most of the game and I ruefully accept that I overshot the mark and thought it was really important that I come out and say something and that people understand that. ”

When asked if the demons’ comments also crossed the line, Zorko said “possibly,” though he didn’t want to reveal what was said.

But Zorko said he – and the football industry – would learn from the episode.

“But I have to acknowledge that what I said clearly crossed that line and I fully understand that in the heat of battle words are said and for me I overstepped the mark in this case.” said Zorko.

“For the future, what I have to learn from this – and potentially the entire industry – is that we can learn from this and move forward and understand that sledding can have a serious impact on people and we have to be extremely careful about the way we do it have to.

“I’m not sure sledding will ever go away from the game, but certainly the worlds you use need to be used smarter.

“It’s really important that you don’t cross that line like I did.”

When asked if he should remain Lions captain next season, Zorko replied he had spoken to the club about the position – one he takes very “seriously”.

He said he would respect what the players wanted who chose the captain.

“I had extremely long conversations with our senior administration at the club. You’ve heard both sides of the story,” Zorko said.

“It should be common knowledge that I take my role as captain very seriously and have done so since I took over five years ago.

“So, I think on that issue, captaincy has always been a decision made by the players and our gaming group. That’s one thing that ‘Fages’ (coach Chris Fagan) and the administration have said: ‘Whoever is captain is chosen by their players and their team-mates’.

“I think until that is decided again, I will respect what the players do when that happens, but that’s all we’ve addressed on this matter.”

Zorko said he realized he crossed the line when he saw Petty’s reaction after three quarters.

“By three quarters it was pretty obvious he was coming straight at me, and I was like, ‘Wow, what did I say here that really upset him?'” Zorko said.

“Then I obviously backtracked on my words and that was clearly something that was a trigger point for him and I’m extremely sorry for that.

“About three quarters into I understood that I had crossed the line.”

Zorko said events since the game had taken a toll on him and his family, but also recognized the impact it would have had on Petty and his family.

He said he would use the experience to become a “better person”.

“I just need to take a little time to reflect on what was said and how I can get better as a person, as a leader and as a player,” Zorko said.

“In the future I just have to get better, no doubt about that, and use that as a lesson for me.

“The last few days have not been easy for me or my family, which I’m also very sorry for, but of course I understand that it would have been just as hard for Harrison Petty and his family on the other side of the fence, so my apologies as well with you.”

Originally posted when Dayne Zorko says he was provoked into the “Mother” sled by Demon Harrison Petty Dayne Zorko’s sled: Lion says he was provoked into sledding Demon Harrison Petty’s mother, AFL News

Nate Jones

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