McKernan was ineligible for the 1996 award after he was suspended for kneeing and falling into the back of Geelong ruckman John Barnes.
Until the Fyfe adjudication, McKernan had been comfortable with his fate that beset him 19 years ago.
"I think for a hell of a long time, a week was a week, we all knew that," he said.
"I was the biggest spokesperson of going 'you know what, (the) Brownlow, that's their rules'.
"It does really seem to me now the rules have changed, it's different.
"We all agree the incident with Nat Fyfe, like I keep saying it's great he gets off but in terms of where you stop with those trivial incidents, in my eyes it seems you've changed the nature of how you interpret the award."