AFL Coaches Association urges AFL to ‘speed up’ investigation into Hawthorn racism scandal where review alleged club abused several First Nations players while Alastair Clarkson was manager principal and Chris Fagan was the director of football.
The AFLCA appeal came the same day the Herald Sun published quotes from a Hawthorn aide who alleged Clarkson, Fagan and Gold Coast managing director Mark Evans – who was Hawthorn’s managing director at the time – ran the club like the “Russian mafia”. .
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Chris Fagan hires top lawyers amid Hawthorn race scandal.
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The review, titled Cultural Safety Review: Of Past and Present Indigenous Players and Staff of the Hawthorn Football Club, alleged that one of Hawthorn’s First Nations players was told to terminate an unborn child, and that others had been separated from their partners and had their SIM card removed. their phones so that they cannot be contacted by their partners and family.
The Herald Sun reports that Hawthorn’s unnamed aide told critics, “If you dare to question their methods, you’ve been blocked.”
“I knew this day would come…” the non-Indigenous aide told reviewers.
“He [the assistant] went on to say that Evans, Clarkson, Fagan and (Jason) Burt ran the football department like the Russian mafia,” the review read. Burt was Hawthorn’s head of player development at the time and, along with Clarkson and Fagan, expressed his innocence.
The AFLCA says it is imperative that the investigation into the case begins immediately so that the figures at the center of the claims receive “natural justice given the continued media coverage of the matter”.
“The coaches named in the Hawthorn Football Club report were not interviewed or given an opportunity to respond to the allegations made before they were handed over to the club and the AFL,” the AFLCA said. .
“They have still not had the opportunity to fully respond to the claims in the report, which has now been provided to two major media outlets.
“But the seriousness of the allegations does not preclude the need for a fair hearing for the coaches, who strenuously denied the claims made in the report.”
7NEWS has not verified the claims or claims made in the review and does not suggest that they are completely true or accurate. 7NEWS is only aware that the allegations have been made and are being investigated.
Meanwhile, Fagan has hired a top law firm, Clayton Utz, in an effort to clear his name.
Fagan again “categorically denied” any allegations of wrongdoing involving First Nations players during his time at Hawthorn and said he intended to defend himself.
The AFL is still finalizing the panel to investigate the allegations after initially hoping to announce the panel members ahead of the grand final.