Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has taken a leave of absence from the club after being embroiled in allegations of racism and horrible treatment in his time at Hawthorn.
The Herald Sun is reporting that Fagan, who was at Hawthorn from 2008 to 2016, has been left devastated and blindsided by the allegations and has said he had no knowledge of the incidents alleged.
One former player has alleged that he was told he and his partner should terminate a pregnancy, while there are multiple other reports of poor treatment of Indigenous players.
In a statement, Brisbane said the Lions and Fagan mutually agreed that he take a leave of absence from the club.
“The Brisbane Lions are aware senior coach Chris Fagan will work with the AFL on an investigation into allegations concerning historical events at the Hawthorn Football Club, where he was a former employee,” the statement said.
“Chris supports and welcomes the investigation. He was not consulted during the Hawthorn-sponsored review and looks forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL investigation.
“The Brisbane Lions and Chris have mutually agreed that he will take a leave of absence from the club so he can fully co-operate in the investigation.
“As the matters are now with the AFL Integrity Unit, the Brisbane Lions won’t make any further comment at this stage.”
Alastair Clarkson, who was the senior coach at the Hawks during the time of the allegations, is set to start his five-year reign as North Melbourne coach on November 1.
Clarkson is still being paid by the Hawks after he finished his career at the club in 2020.
One player told the ABC Clarkson “demanded that I needed to get rid of my unborn child and my partner”.
“I was then manipulated and convinced to remove my SIM card from my phone so there was no further contact between my family and me,” the player told the ABC.
“They told me I’d be living with one of the other coaches from that night onwards.”
AFL Players’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh said: “The AFL Players’ Association is extremely concerned about the details of the report relating to player and partner experiences while at the Hawthorn Football Club.
“We have spoken to the AFL and communicated our expectations that an independent investigation must be conducted. It should also be well-resourced and wide-ranging in scope. “In the meantime, the affected players and partners will continue to have the full support of the AFLPA through our various programs and services. These services will also be reinforced to all members of the AFLPA.”