Collingwood big man Mason Cox has called out the “disgusting” commentary around his prescription glasses, revealing his recovery from eye surgery was “the lowest moment” of his life.
Cox was accidentally poked in the eye by former Gold Coast Suns ruckman Peter Wright three years ago, causing a torn retina. His other retina was also detached during an altercation with West Coast Eagles defender Tom Barrass in the 2018 grand final.
Since 2019, the 31-year-old has undergone six bouts of surgery – three on his left eye, two on the right and cataract surgery.
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This season the forward debuted a bold new look during matches, taking to the field wearing black prescription sunglasses after being granted permission from the AFL.
Speaking on KIIS 101.1’s Jase & LaurenCox opened up on the traumatic eye injury that almost caused him to lose his sight permanently.
“I won’t get into the details too much but essentially half my eye was pulled off, half my retina fell off and I had to go into hospital, sew the thing back up and was blind,” he said.
“For about 45 minutes of every hour I was on my back staring at the ceiling unable to see for two weeks. Two weeks on my own in a dark room not being able to see anything.
“People talk about quarantine being bad. Get a finger in the eye, sit in the house and not be able to get out of bed for two weeks, and (then) talk to me.
“It was probably the lowest moment of my life, I will say that. But we’ve come out the other end and whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger I guess.
“It’s just part of it. You compare everything to that now. Life could get a lot worse. I could be back to that situation.”
Asked if he ever thought about ending his career, the American import replied: “The whole time was I was blind I was like, ‘I’m obviously not going to be able to play footy if I can’t see’.
“The vision did slowly come back and now I’ve got a prescription that’s in the glasses whenever I play.
“You can imagine, you lose your sight and you go, ‘shit, my full trust is in these doctors that this thing will come back’. Half a world away from home, no support group of the family and stuff like that, just sitting in my apartment by myself.”
Cox’s unique prescription glasses have made him a target for ridicule, which he labeled “disgusting”.
He explained he wouldn’t be able to play without wearing the glasses.
“Sometimes it’s actually still people in the media talking about it and saying some disgusting things about it to be honest. But I’m not going to get into it too much,” he said.
“Yeah, it is a medical thing man. It is a different look, I understand that and it’s different for people to see it. But I’ve almost gone blind from playing footy so I’m essentially going to have to protect my eyes so I can actually have a life post this, being able to see.
“It’s a different look but it’s part of the process and it’s more of a long term position of mine.”
Cox recently said he believes ridiculous things that are different to the status quo is rooted in Australian culture.
“I think it’s a bit of Australia, to be honest, they don’t like anything that looks a bit different or doesn’t fit inside the box,” he told AFL.com.au last week.
“Sorry I’m a bit too big to fit inside the box.”
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