In round three of the 2014 NRL season, a then 22-year-old Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon was left paralysed after a tackle by Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean went horribly wrong. Now, McKinnon has launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against both the NRL and the player who caused his injury.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Alex McKinnon has sent a legal letter to the NRL and to Jordan McLean, detailing his bid for compensation for the accident that has left him in a wheelchair.
McKinnon reportedly met with NRL Chief Executive, Todd Greenburg in November this year to discuss the possibility of legal action. Greenburg reportedly told 24-year-old McKinnon to, ‘do what you’ve got to do.’
After the sickening tackle, McKinnon received a huge and heartwarming outpouring of support from the Newcastle Knights and the NRL, who created a ‘Rise For Alex’ fund and dedicated a round of the season to the player, during which over $1 million was raised and donated to his recovery. Alex was also given a permanent position working for the Newcastle Knights in player recruitment.
McKinnon gave a controversial interview with 60 minutes in 2015, during which he detailed the financial impact of his situation and mentioned the possibility of legal action. ‘The NRL have been unreal for me and that is one of the things we both, myself and the NRL, are in a very foreign ground really. I don’t know how much it will cost and they don’t know how much they can give me.’
McKinnon’s coach, Wayne Bennet spoke out in an interview with Channel Nine’s NRL Footy Show, supporting his efforts for compensation, claiming that McLean’s tackle was an illegal one, ‘You have to understand, this wasn’t an accident in the sense it was an illegal tackle, that is the difference.’