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Hawks Review Reveals Shock Allegations Against Former Coaches


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Some random thoughts about this situation, now that the initial shock has subsided.

  • The focus on Clarkson and Fagan is unfortunate as it obscures the real issues - cultural safety and systemic racism 
  • As an example of cultural safety, Hodge seemed to suggest getting advice from the club about cutting ties to girlfriends and or perceived bad influences was standard operating procedure when he came to the club.
  • Some might say that is evidence of it not being racist to do the same for Aboriginal players, but that ignores the completely different cultural context for Aboriginal and non Aboriginal players and the inter generational trauma Aboriginal people experience as result of colonialization,  genocide (ie efforts to wipe out Aboriginal people), forced removal from their land and forced separation of family (and any number of other issues, such as systemic poverty)  
  • Bottom line, it hard to imagine a scenario where having ANY conversation with an Aboriginal player that is any way suggesting disconnecting from family would be culturally appropriate and safe (which, to be clear, is not to say that welfare concerns cannot be addressed with Aboriginal players - they just have be done in a culturally safe way)
  • The Crows camp fiasco is another example of what happens when there is a complete lack of cultural competence
  • This thread is a good example of the broader discussion on this topic - the focus on Clarkson and Fagan has meant the discussion has mostly been about the specific 'accusations'  leveled against them, and the fairness or otherwise of how those accusations were leveled and concepts such as right of reply and natural justice
  • The focus on Clarkson and Fagan is understandable as it is newsworthy and has implications for the AFL - it is the reason the ABC report highlighted their involvement 
  • But as i say, the focus on them obscures the real issue - cultural safety and systemic racism 
  • Was the focus on Clarkson and Fagan by the ABC fair?
  • No, not really - but it is standard media stuff, as was releasing it in GF week for maximum impact (and thanks to 15 plus years of  having to battle  and scrape to justify its existence, ABC have just as much pressure on them as any media outlet to generate clicks)
  • The report and the ABC reporting have been conflated - as has been noted by several posters the TOR of the report was to interview Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island hawks players about their experience at the club and document the feedback
  • The Hawks have obviously read the report and determined an investigation is required and wisely handballed it to the AFL 
  • The ABC article was, as i understand it, was not a rehash of the leaked report - there is no evidence the report was leaked
  • The ABC interviewed players and families themselves - and given we are talking about small pool of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island hawks players in the timeframe of the report there was always going to be a cross over
  • One assumes the ABC did all the legal checks and approvals before publishing; and if so it is hard to see what recourse  Clarkson and Pagan have in terms of potential defamation claims (the ABC were reporting information they believed to be correct, which as i understand it is a good start to a defamation defense) 
  • I can't see how the Hawks or individual players could be exposed to defamation, given neither party publicized the accusations (the players spoke to a reporter,  but the ABC reported and published those comments)
Edited by binman
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2 hours ago, layzie said:

But do you reckon that applies with this too? 

Yes by making fake news so common.

no evidence up front, just accusations.

dates or times or rebuttals. Fake news is one sided.

except where the previous Nth Melb caption is concerned.   He sliced up north for years

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11 minutes ago, 640MD said:

Yes by making fake news so common.

no evidence up front, just accusations.

dates or times or rebuttals. Fake news is one sided.

except where the previous Nth Melb caption is concerned.   He sliced up north for years

Donald succeeded sadly. 
You have no idea what to believe, Sky News is Fake 

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1 hour ago, binman said:

 

  • Was the focus on Clarkson and Fagan by the ABC fair?
  • No, not really - but it is standard media stuff, as was releasing it in GF week for maximum impact (and thanks to 15 plus years of  having to battle  and scrape to justify its existence, ABC have just as much pressure on them as any media outlet to generate clicks)

Would have thought releasing the story in the same week where there's so many other stories about AFL relating to the Grand Final, the teams and players involved, the entertainment etc actually hinders the impact rather than helps it.

Also; the fact the report was tabled about 2 weeks prior to the story says the timing was more related to that rather than any kind of delaying tactic to maximise the timing. That's just not how a 'breaking story' like this works IMO.

I think to suggest Russel Jackson's work is there to 'generate clicks' greatly diminishes the many important stories he has told and is a pretty unfair comment.

Edited by Lord Nev
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Was wondering when the "footy clubs are special places" angle was going to come up

"Football clubs are unique environments. They become a second home for players, and coaches are often required to be much more than just football mentors,” he said.

“Coaches are regularly called on to provide advice and support on non-football related issues, particularly with younger players who have left home to join an AFL club.

“It would significantly enhance the investigation if someone who intimately understands that environment, and has deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players, was included on the panel."

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/racism-investigation-must-include-an-experienced-football-administrator-says-aflca-boss-20220926-p5bl21.html

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3 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Was wondering when the "footy clubs are special places" angle was going to come up

"Football clubs are unique environments. They become a second home for players, and coaches are often required to be much more than just football mentors,” he said.

“Coaches are regularly called on to provide advice and support on non-football related issues, particularly with younger players who have left home to join an AFL club.

“It would significantly enhance the investigation if someone who intimately understands that environment, and has deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players, was included on the panel."

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/racism-investigation-must-include-an-experienced-football-administrator-says-aflca-boss-20220926-p5bl21.html

maybe they could add james hird to the panel then?

lots of practical dealings with player welfare. 

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20 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Was wondering when the "footy clubs are special places" angle was going to come up

"Football clubs are unique environments. They become a second home for players, and coaches are often required to be much more than just football mentors,” he said.

“Coaches are regularly called on to provide advice and support on non-football related issues, particularly with younger players who have left home to join an AFL club.

“It would significantly enhance the investigation if someone who intimately understands that environment, and has deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players, was included on the panel."

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/racism-investigation-must-include-an-experienced-football-administrator-says-aflca-boss-20220926-p5bl21.html

The ol' special and different trope. What a lot of cr*p. This attitude, at least in part, is the root cause of the problem.

Edited by Queanbeyan Demon
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17 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

“It would significantly enhance the investigation if someone who intimately understands that environment, and has deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players, was included on the panel."

I had to check the article to make sure the quote was referring specifically to including 'an experienced football administrator'. 

It is.

The quote is from AFL Coaches Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson, who inadvertently highlights a couple of key issues.

Firstly, a football administrator, experienced or otherwise, does not necessarily have 'deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players'. 

Sure, the well being of players would be a priority for any football administrator, but the welfare of players is not the key focus of a football administrators role, and therefore few would have 'deep experience' in that space. 

Case in point - wasn't Burt an experienced football administrator?

Who does have 'deep experience in managing the wellbeing of players', not to mention the requisite training (hopefully)?

Experienced specialist welfare officers working at AFL clubs.

Surely that is who Alistair Nicholson should be recommending be on the panel.

Which goes to the second issue. 

Where was the welfare officer involvement in the cases highlighted in the ABC article? 

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37 minutes ago, binman said:

 

Where was the welfare officer involvement in the cases highlighted in the ABC article? 

don't seem to have had a dedicated one early 2014

p.s. this was shortly after a certain player departed

Quote

Player Development Manager - Hawthorn Football Club

Enjoying a history that extends beyond 125 years, Hawthorn Football Club is a proud, successful and progressive member of the Australian Football League and is well placed for future success. The Club is presently seeking to appoint an experienced and highly talented individual to provide innovation, leadership and management across the area of player welfare and development.

Jul 30, 2014, 4:05pm
  • Educator with strong inter/intra personal skills 
  • Determined & innovative approach 
  • Football department appointment 

 

Edited by daisycutter
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Quote

The West Australian 

Sat, 1 March 2014 5:46PM

Troubled youngster [redacted]  career is hanging by a thread after he informed Hawthorn that he was struggling to handle his maiden AFL pre-season.

[redacted] , taken by the Hawks with the [redacted] selection in last year’s national draft, will continue to train with the club, but will not be available for selection at either AFL level or with VFL club Box Hill.

The 20-year-old forward has not been selected for Hawthorn’s opening two NAB Challenge wins, amid claims the leadership group has challenged him about his lack of professionalism and willingness to buy into the club’s culture.

“[redacted]  popped in to see Clarko and myself and during that meeting really expressed some worries and concerns about his professionalism at the moment and why he’s not reaching the standards we expect here at Hawthorn,” Hawthorn football operations general manager Chris Fagan told the club’s website.

“It was a really honest conversation that he had with us and as a result of that, after Clarko and I talked to Jason Burt our welfare officer , we’ve decided that [redacted]  needs a little bit more time before he plays a game … we want to help him overcome some of the anxieties he’s got.

“For the time being, he’ll be training, but he certainly won’t be playing games until he feels like he’s ready to go. We can now come up with a program that best suits his needs.”

 

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8 minutes ago, binman said:

Burt was a welfare officer?

that's what the newspaper said, however i don't think that was his full-time job, but just rather a task assigned to him as an extra. either temporarily or for longer. But you'd have to ask hawthorn for further clarity. nevertheless a few months later they advertise a full time vacancy for welfare/development manager

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7 hours ago, Queanbeyan Demon said:

Football clubs are unique environments. They become a second home for players, and coaches are often required to be much more than just football mentors

Not at all.  Many people such as me, still catch up for a beer on Fridays as when we were working,  People travel up north for the fiftieth of one' of their former apprentices.  Bullying is widespread and studiously ignored by managers.

Edited by redandbluemakepurple
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9 hours ago, binman said:

The focus on Clarkson and Fagan is unfortunate as it obscures the real issues - cultural safety and systemic racism 

Binman, " cultural safety and systemic racism " is a complex matter and many won't have the emotional buy-in to do the work to understand.  

Don't we need to identify and punish as many cases as possible such as alleged at Hawthorn?   Admissions that Club X needs to be better and promises that they will do better, have failed.  What is Plan B?

A random thought

There needs to be a list of Don'ts i.e. using culturally significant artefacts at Crows camps, interference in cultural connections and support networks.

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Just to add more layers of complexity. 

 

According to John Ralph first-nations-families-reservations-to-give-testimonies

“It’s become a political minefield, and my strong understanding is there are deep reservations about – what now are five First Nations families – in terms of them actually testifying. It would be a disaster if they didn’t testify, because we’d never get a resolution on this.

“Those families believe they’ve already told Phil Egan their story, they’ve already told Russell Jackson about it. They haven’t got confidence the AFL can work through this, because of the Eddie Betts saga and some of the allegations there that were never really followed through.”

“They (the families) don’t want it to go to the legal system, but that independent panel, they want it to be truly independent. They feel like they’ve had 30 years of racism issues and people not being censored for racist comments.

 

Meanwhile Fagan has confirmed his categorical denial of accusations and “I also confirm my intention to participate fully in any investigative process, provided that it is independent, fair and impartial, and respects my right to be heard".  chris-fagan-statement

The latter part looks like a recent addition to his prior statement.  Maybe he has read the John Ralph report.

 

It looks like both parties have reservations about the 'independence' and 'fairness' of the panel process.  Good luck to the AFL putting together a panel that satisfies all parties.  This may take forever just to get to first base.

Edited by Lucifers Hero
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10 minutes ago, Lucifers Hero said:

They haven’t got confidence the AFL can work through this, because of the Eddie Betts saga and some of the allegations there that were never really followed through.”

Who could blame them.

I don't trust the AFL either, history shows they have never got it right...despite all the chances they've had.

Why would that change now.

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2 minutes ago, rjay said:

Who could blame them.

I don't trust the AFL either, history shows they have never got it right...despite all the chances they've had.

Why would that change now.

That is the whole problem right there. 
The AFL have never got this right, and hit clubs with a wet lettuce when they transgress

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Gil has done some great things for AFL but his handling of numerous racism related issues has been a failure (From Adam Goodes at the start to this and everything in-between).  This is not something he can fix.  He needs to go and let the next in line resolve this as they don't have the baggage he has accumulated.

 

It won't happen of course because Gil is too worried about his legacy.

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This is exactly why i was asking our Legal Demonlanders about the definitions of heresay and evidence the other day.

These Families have told their stories to multiple people already, and they don’t see anything change. 
 

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