July 21, 2024

Hawthorn racism review to allege that former coaches separated First Nations players from families and demanded a pregnancy termination

An external review commissioned by the Hawthorn Football Club will reveal allegations that key figures at the AFL club demanded the separation of young First Nations players from their partners, and pressured one couple to terminate a pregnancy for the sake of the player’s career.

The review document, handed to Hawthorn’s senior management two weeks ago and now with the AFL integrity unit, will allege that club staff involved include four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson and former assistant Chris Fagan, now the coach of the Brisbane Lions.

It is believed the review was similar in scope to Collingwood’s ‘Do Better’ review of 2021 and will have similarly dramatic ramifications.

Hawks' horror show: Hawthorn's midfield woes laid bare

According to the families of three players interviewed by ABC Sport, the incidents at the centre of the review allegedly took place during Clarkson’s time as head coach, a period in which the club won four AFL premierships, including a historic treble between 2013 and 2015. Clarkson recently signed a lucrative five-year deal to coach North Melbourne.

Hawthorn had more than 20 First Nations players in the period of the review. Three families involved told ABC Sport about incidents in which club staff allegedly bullied and removed First Nations players from their homes and relocated them elsewhere, telling them to choose between their careers and their families.

In some cases, coaches allegedly coerced at least two players to remove SIM cards from their phones and insert new ones in attempts to cut them off from their partners and focus them entirely on the club’s pursuit of football success. In each case, the player was a young First Nations draftee in his first five years with the club.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *