Outgoing Hawthorn chairman Jeff Kennett has criticized three First Nations players and their partners for speaking to the media about their experiences with the AFL club.
- Hawks president Jeff Kennett says no player who spoke to ABC should be named
- He added that he was “surprised” when he read the report
- Kennett said he hopes to have it resolved by the end of the year
An external review commissioned by the club included allegations that key figures demanded that young indigenous players be separated from their partners and pressured one couple to terminate their pregnancies..
Kennett said none of the players who spoke to ABC should have been named.
“Sadly they decided to talk to the press…they named people who had very real problems,” he said.
“It was unfair to them [people], so this should be resolved. ”
Speaking at the club’s Best and Fairest Awards Night, Kennett said the club was not in danger and described the problem as “a bump along the highway.”
But when he read a draft of the club’s survey of the experiences of Indigenous players and their partners at Hawthorn, he told the audience he was “somewhat surprised – even worse”.
He said he hopes to have a solution in the report by the end of the year.
The report will be handed over to the AFL, who will set up a four-person committee to consider the allegations.
The allegations of racism came to light last week, with four-time Hawks premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, then-assistant Chris Fagan and former Hawthorne welfare manager Jason Bart alleging that the Hawthorne indigenous He was named in an ABC report detailing historic allegations from players.
Clarkson and Fagan, who are now at North Melbourne, have resigned from their coaching duties.
“I don’t see this as a crisis,” Kennett said.
“Hawthorne values its employees equally and is constantly striving to improve the support and services it provides to them.
“When I read the draft report, I was a little taken aback — worse.
“I didn’t read it carefully. I hope this issue is resolved quickly by all concerned.”
Kennett said those interviewed for this report requested confidentiality, which Hawthorne respected.
“I don’t see this as a crisis. I know this club, I know its history and its strength,” he said.
“We will deal with this and help where we can.”
Kennett also said the matter was historic and that he had asked Hawthorne employees to report to the club at that time if they believed there had been inappropriate conduct.
“One of the things the research has shown is that we now have safe cultural workplaces, so these issues are a thing of the past,” he said.
He hopes there will be some form of mediation so that any issues can be resolved quickly.
“There’s a chance we’ll have a solution by the end of the year so people can get on with their lives,” he said.
“We will never apologize for doing what was necessary to put the welfare of our employees first.
“This was a shock. Something good is about to happen.”
At the end of his speech, Kennett again insisted the Hawks would “overcome” the problem.
“Think of this as a bump along the highway. But… this is a significant bump and should be dealt with professionally,” he said.
“As a club, we are not going to accept the fact that we cannot overcome this latest issue.
“We have people, we have desires, we have an indelible element of togetherness.”
Hawks president Jeff Kennett criticizes indigenous player for speaking to media about racism allegations
Source link Hawks president Jeff Kennett criticizes indigenous player for speaking to media about racism allegations