Dermott Brereton says he would’ve taken matters into his own hands if he was confronted by an angry fan like Richmond’s Ty Vickery was on Friday night.
Vickery decked West Coast’s six-time All-Australian ruckman All-Australian Dean Cox at a boundary throw-in during the AFL round-18 clash at Patersons Stadium, prompting a massive outpouring of anger from the pro-Eagles crowd.
Two fans yelled at Vickery from only a metre or two away as the Richmond big man went to the bench during the match.
Former Hawthorn star Brereton said he despised seeing fans get in players’ faces.
“If I’d have been Tyrone Vickery and I’d have run to the bench and a bloke leant over like that, I’d have grabbed him by the beard and dragged him onto the ground,” Brereton told Melbourne’s Radio SEN on Saturday.
“I despise that. That is guttural.
“It is zoo-like. You can’t let people be vigilantes and take the law into their own hands and decide to get past everybody else in their seats and go and take their own form of vengeance in terms of spiteful retribution verbally over the fence.”
Richmond captain Trent Cotchin said the crowd’s anger had inspired the Tigers.
“As loud as the West Coast crowd was, you sort of thrive on that,” Cotchin told Radio SEN.
“You love the fact that the opposition supporters are starting to show some real hatred for you.
“It was like ‘we’ve sort of got them here’.
“They were just that focused on all the spotfires that were popping up on the field more than the game and I think that’s the little mental edge that you’re looking for.”
Richmond great and television commentator Matthew Richardson said the crowd’s behaviour was disgraceful.
“On the boundary line at halftime, I was having a bit of a joke with them,” Richardson told Radio 3AW.
“But there were people in the crowd losing their marbles and it was ugly.
“There were a lot of kids around and I thought it was a disgrace, some of the things that were said.
“The benches there at Subi, you can lean right over. It was a bit unsavoury.”