Essendon forward Peter Wright to learn fate for heavy hit on Sydney Swan Harry Cunningham

There is intense interest in Peter Wright’s date at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night after the Essendon forward knocked Sydney’s Harry Cunningham unconscious at the SCG.

The Tribunal hearing is underway in Melbourne with Wright facing a possible four-week ban after his shoulder collected the head of the 30-year-old Swan.

Wright’s conduct was determined as careless, with severe impact and high contact.

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Rather than try to fight the charge, Wright and the Bombers have taken a different route in the incident that has sparked intense debate.

“They are playing the contrition card so Peter Wright has pleaded guilty to all aspects of the charge,” David Zita said on Fox Sports of the live hearing.

“The AFL would like a four-match ban, Essendon are obviously seeing if they can get that down to three matches, which is the minimum for this kind of incident.

“Either way he’s missing three matches at the very least.”

Wayne Carey has had his say on the incident, declaring he will stop watching AFL games if Wright is suspended for the bump.

Speaking on his podcast The Truth Hurts, Carey slammed the decision to send the incident to the Tribunal and said he wouldn’t watch footy for as long as Wright is suspended for.

“So this has been sent to the Tribunal? Weak as piss straight away to the AFL,” Carey said.

The AFL has cracked down on head high contact in the wake of Angus Brayshaw’s early retirement at the age of 28 due to ongoing concussion issues.

The Melbourne premiership player was knocked out by Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard in last year’s qualifying final, but Maynard escaped suspension.

Port Adelaide’s Sam Powell-Pepper was banned for four games for a bump that concussed Adelaide’s Mark Keane in the pre-season.

The Maynard-Brayshaw incident was similar to Wright’s bump on Cunningham and Carey argued players should still be allowed to “attack the footy”.

“It’s just gone too far for me,” said Carey, who won two premierships with North Melbourne in the 1990s.

“I will not watch footy … if he gets weeks. I’m not going to watch it for as long as he’s out of the game.

“A waste of his time, a waste of money. Just could not be more disappointed. And the fact they’re not strong enough to make a call on it, so they have to send it to the Tribunal.

“Players are going to be petrified to even go at the footy hard. Players are going to be tiptoeing around the footy and not wanting to attack the footy. Is that what we want to turn this game into?”

St Kilda great Leigh Montagna was also opposed to a harsh sanction for the key-position goalkicker, citing his opinion that contact between Wright and Cunningham was “inevitable”.

“I think (four weeks is) too harsh for a player I saw instinctively brace at the very last second when contact was inevitable,” he argued on Fox Footy’s First Crack.

“The fear is now, if this is going to be four weeks, let’s not be surprised if players start pulling out of contests. Because that would be the smarter option and be called soft than it is to miss a month of football and really hurt a team’s chances of trying to win games.

“It just doesn’t sit easy with me when you watch it in slow-motion to say ‘he had other options’. We know how fast the game is. They’re coming at each other a million miles an hour and it’s instinctive.

“You don’t know in that situation until contact is inevitable what you’re going to do.”

'I'm done' Carey threatens AFL boycott

Wright’s bump on Cunningham was the flashpoint in a fiery contest between the Bombers and Swans at the SCG on Saturday night.

Swans livewire Tom Papley said Wright could get ready for a “holiday” and called Essendon’s new approach of playing on the edge under coach Brad Scott a “facade”.

“They really gave it to us. Brad Scott came out and said they want to have that Essendon edge and Peter Wright took it a bit too far,” Papley told 3AW.

“They were still getting into us. You can be tough and do all that stuff, but you’ve still got to be able to play four quarters.

“They were hitting us behind the play and things like that. They’re trying to do that stuff and I don’t know if it’s them or not.

“Brad Scott came out and said it’s the Essendon way, but … anyway I won’t go into it.

“You can pretend to be tough, but you’ve still got to win the ball and win the game.

“It’s all a facade I think, but anyway.”

Essendon next play St Kilda on Saturday afternoon.

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