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AFL News: ‘He can’t be captain’ – Zorko slammed as sledge to Demon revealed

The sledge by Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko that left Melbourne defender Harrison Petty in tears on Friday night has been revealed.

According to the Herald Sun’s Mark Robinson, Zorko said words to the effect of ‘I hope your mother dies’; with the AFL community continuing to savage the Lions skipper’s conduct.

“It was appalling from Zorko and there’s no chance he will be captain of the club next year,” Robinson wrote, before questioning the AFL’s decision to take no further action against the 33-year old following an early investigation.

“As for the AFL, they will have their reasons for not punishing him, but they can’t let it go. How can this possibly go unpunished?” Robinson wondered.

Former North Melbourne player David King agreed that Zorko’s vile sledge made his position as Lions captain untenable, calling on the AFL Players Association to stand up for Petty and issue a sanction.

“He can’t be captain doing that stuff. He can’t be captain if he’s a recidivist in this area and getting it wrong,” King said on Fox Footy’s First Crack.

“I reckon the players have got to legislate their own. I think this is a Players Association issue. I’m not saying [it should be CEO] Paul Marsh, I’m saying the leadership group there.

“In the off-season, they should come together and say, ‘we’ve got look after each other. We’re not going to accept this from Dayne Zorko.

“‘If you step outside the code – our own code, to our own people – then we’re going to sanction you, fine you, suspend you, take a greater control of what’s acceptable and what’s not.’

“This not the first time.”

Fellow host Leigh Montagna urged the Lions themselves to take action, saying Zorko’s reputation as a serial pest was letting the team down badly.

“He’s [Zorko] done this in the past, I know there are other teams really disappointed with some of the other stuff he’s said,” the former Saints star said.

“I’d like to see Brisbane internally say, ‘Dayne, you’re our leader. You don’t need to go there. You need to lead from the front with your ability to pressure and tackle and win the contested ball and all the things they need to do to win games of footy and not get caught up in that stuff.’

“I’d like to see a stronger leadership group speak to Dayne about it, and just take it out of his game.”

Zorko was heavily involved in a number of spot-fires during the Lions’ loss to Melbourne, which cost them a top-four position heading into the finals.

Former Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling was particularly critical of the Lions’ behaviour throughout the evening at the Gabba, saying their tactics to get under the skin of the Demons were ‘just garbage’.

“The Brisbane Lions’ definition of stepping up and playing hard footy was to pretend to be tough and to fight, wrestle and niggle,” Ling said on Seven’s The Al & Lingy Show.

“It’s just garbage. Since when has it ever worked? It’s led by Dayne Zorko and he should be embarrassed about everything that he has done.

“His leadership has set the tone for the way they pretended to play hard football.”

Zorko apologised to Petty after the match, with the Demons satisfied with the outcome and reluctant to push the matter further.

Dayne Zorko of the Lions looks dejected after his team's defeat against Melbourne.

Dayne Zorko of the Lions looks dejected after his team’s defeat against Melbourne. (Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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