An ugly moment has rocked the AFL with a star left out cold, facedown on the turf as fans called for a lengthy ban to be handed down.

Footy fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing when Geelong defender Tom Stewart flattened Richmond’s Dion Prestia in the first quarter.

As Prestia leapt to tap a highball onto a teammate, Stewart ran past the footy and through the Tigers midfielder with his left shoulder slamming into the head of Prestia.

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Prestia was out cold on the deck of the MCG as the game rolled on around him despite multiple medical staff attending to him.

The midfielder was eventually helped to his feet and taken from the ground and immediately taken into the rooms.

The hit from Stewart resulted in the defender being reported and could see him looking at multiple weeks on the sidelines.

“Absolutely disgusting headhigh hit on Dion Prestia,” Peter Brown tweeted.

Jon Ralph said the hit could see Stewart sent straight to the tribunal and facing three plus weeks.

“Intentional and high impact is three matches. Intentional and severe is straight to the tribunal. Tom Stewart has already been reported,” Ralph tweeted.

Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon couldn’t believe the game carried on as Prestia was on the turf clearly not knowing where he was.

“This is a big story unfolding here. You’d think they’d stop the game,” Lyon said.

Anthony Hudson was equally bemused: “The footy is in the area so you’d think there’d be some care and common sense.”

“Why haven’t they stopped the game, surely one of these umpires takes control,” Lyon said.

The Cats pounced as Prestia was helped off the ground as Tyson Stengle snapped his side’s fourth goal of the quarter.

“Well done to Geelong and Tyson Stengle, but the farcical situation is that Richmond have been a player down for the best part of three minutes and paid the price,” Lyon said.

David King applied the heat to the MRO who have failed to make a statement regarding head-high contact.

“He is definitely coming under MRO scrutiny, and let’s be honest, the MRO have tiptoed around this situation for 12-18 months and we haven’t changed player behaviour,” King said.

“That will be the biggest story of the weekend.”

Geelong coach Chris Scott was seen talking to Stewart during the quarter-time break, no doubt trying to keep his star’s head in the game.

“He goes past the footy, makes headhigh contact and that’s as clear cut as we have seen for a while,” Lyon said.

“Not a good look at all. He will be disappointed, Tommy Stewart, when he sees that.”

Prestia was subbed out of the contest with Ivan Soldo coming on for the Tigers.

The hit once against sparked the conversation surrounding the AFL introducing a send-off rule with many in favour of one being brought in.

“Huge Tom Stewart fan but my god this is atrocious. It’s a real good example of why we need a send-off rule because that’s a straight red,” Steve Smith tweeted.

Triple M’s Rudi Edsall agreed: “That Stewart hit is why footy needs a send off rule. If he goes on to star in a big Cats win it sits awfully in your stomach,” he wrote.

SEN’s Nic Negrepontis said: “Hard to disagree. You’d only need it 4 times a year max. Today would be one of them. Tigers absolutely crippled by losing Prestia.”

Originally published as Dion Prestia knocked out cold by Tom Stewart in ugly moment

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