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Former coach slams AFL for James Hird silence

Sporting News logo Sporting News 8/01/2017

Former St Kilda coach Grant Thomas has criticised the AFL for remaining silent throughout James Hird's hospitalisation and the days since.

Hird suffered a drug overdose on Wednesday night and has spent time in both hospital and a mental health facility in the aftermath.

Thomas took to Twitter to slam the league's governing body after the AFL released a statement saying they 'would not be commenting publicly' on Hird.

"I like the way the AFL have come out with a statement of support and concern for James -NOT! Notably absent," Thomas tweeted yesterday.

"Time for the AFL to provide some very factual, truthful ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to some simple questions that remain unanswered. Brand is secondary.

"There is one reason AFL has not commented, one reason alone; it’s called hypocrisy. They are perplexed about supporting a guy they nailed to cross.

"Polo, couta boat racing, wineries, horse racing, cricket, tennis -there is plenty on to keep the (AFL) execs busy."

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354

-Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757

-Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

-Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

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