Australian Football League and Racism

The Fair Go casino login Australia is following the story of the Australian Football League which is facing allegations that it has ignored repeated reports that players from indigenous backgrounds have suffered abuse by team personnel.

The allegations are extremely harsh. The indigenous players were singled out to be separated from their families. In one case, a player faced pressure to abort his child. According to a number of indigenous players, their SIM cards were removed from their phones in an effort to separate them from their families.

The incidents were said to have taken place at the Hawthorn Football Club, one of the most successful teams in recent AFL history. The investigation's findings were obtained by ABC which reported that the investigation stretches back to 2005 and recalls memories of the mistreatment of the Aboriginal community in Australia throughout the years.

Hawthorn is one of the most lucrative teams in Australia. Its sponsors include Toyota, Coca-Cola, Continental Tires, McDonald's, Telstra, and Flutter Entertainment, the Irish gambling company. According to the ABC report, the investigation unearthed a culture of coercion and bullying which were, according to the head of the competition's governing body, "challenging, harrowing and disturbing."


Many of the best and most high-profile players in the league come from the indigenous community and the AFL has invested significant resources in efforts to improve relations with Australian indigenous communities. This includes the "indigenous round" in which players don Aboriginal-designed jerseys to acknowledge the original inhabitants of the region in which the match is being played.

Those efforts, however, have been undermined by a series of incidents such as racist incidents involving the Adelaide and Collingwood football clubs and the booing of indigenous player Adam Goodes.

Tim Soutphommasane, Australia's former race discrimination commissioner, issued a statement regarding the treatment of the indigenous players by Hawthorn. It smacked, he said, "of paternalism and the politics of another age ... this is deeply upsetting. It evokes memories of politics from the past that we thought were behind us. It is very clear there are systemic issues of racial discrimination within the AFL." A spokesperson for the "Hawks", said that the club is launching a review by indigenous consultants.


The abuse, which has been reported by three indigenous families, involve a head coach who worked for the club between 2005 and 2021. They told ABC investigative reporters that they were bullied and told to choose between their families and their football careers. Crowd abuse at stadiums is nothing new for Australian football but the incidents involving the Hawthorn players marks the first time that allegations have been made against coaching staff.

The AFL commented on Hawthorn's external review into the claims of racism, saying, "The experiences outlined in the document are extremely serious and require further and full examination. The AFL is finalizing a process to investigate the allegations and has sought further details of those who shared their experiences in order to progress its investigation."

Australian Football League chief Gillon McLachlan said, "At face value, it's hard to find more serious allegations. There are so many people hurting today and have been hurting for a long time. As a game, we will do everything to ensure the hurt you experienced is not a hurt experienced by others."

Hawthorn's is continuing its investigation but the AFL will conduct its own separate investigation with the help of an external panel of four independent, appropriately qualified people. "We need to run a proper investigation to get to the bottom of it," said McLachlan, "and this is important out of respect for those making the allegations and out of respect for those being accused."

One of the most serious allegations is that of a young indigenous player who said that he was pressured to break up with his partner for the sake of his career and terminate his partner's pregnancy. According to the player, multiple coaches, including the head coach and the assistant coach, told him that he needed to move into the home of the assistant coach. "(He) just leaned over me and demanded that I needed to get rid of my unborn child and my partner," the player, who was not named, told the ABC which has been conducting its own investigation. "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."

Hawthorn club chief executive Justin Reeves, is prepared to face Hawthorn's racism problem. "Australia has a culture problem, historically, and I think like all of us, we focus on every day being better and building a great environment for our club."

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