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Former Hawthorn star John Platten recently spoke to about the issues he is having due to multiple concussions he suffered during his playing days and believes the huge insurance payout to Shaun Smith has set a milestone. He himself has joined in a class action suit against the AFL.

Of course, better protocols have been initiated since his playing days. He said, “Back in those days, they would ask if you were okay… You’d go to training throughout the week and then you were ready to play the next game. You just did it, and you got over it as quick as you could.”

Platten suffered over 35 concussions and, as a result, is now suffering from acute memory loss, “I get frustrated a lot, I forget things, I forget where I’ve put my keys, or I forget what friends are coming around and the names of their kids I only met a week ago.”

The Smith payout and recognition of the problems surrounding concussion has given Platten hope that a cure may be found and money will be donated by the league into more research, “I want to go through all these tests now when I am 57, I don’t want to be going through these tests when I’m 77. I want to find out now so I can start rehab ... so I can have a really good life 10-15-20 years down the track ... Hopefully there is money going to come out of [the class action] for research of the brain because they really can’t do too much until you’re dead. We’ve learnt through Polly Farmer, we’ve learnt through Danny Frawley that the only way they can test if there's any problems is if the person has passed away.”

Of his time as a Hawk, he has nothing but fond memories, “I was never going to be a policeman, or a fireman or an accountant, I always just wanted to play footy. My first year ... was in 1986 ... we won both the day and night premierships so that was a great way to start ... You don’t play for accolades, at the end of your career if you’ve done well enough and you’ve done the right thing by the club these achievements just come up.”

Platten currently has his own business called ‘The Safety Hub’, which ensures the safe return of men and women into the workforce, something his own family may not have had the same assurance of upon his return from the football field. He concluded by saying, “Looking back now, I’m very proud of what I’ve done, and I think my family would also appreciate what I’ve done. It’s certainly a great honor to be a part of that enormous Hawthorn side.”
Former Collingwood and Melbourne defender Heritier Lumumba is suing Collingwood and the AFL over claims of racial abuse at Collingwood. Born in Brazil, Lumumba played 199 games for the Magpies 2005 to 2014. He was traded to Melbourne where he played 24 games before retiring at the end of 2016. A photo in the Collingwood change rooms caused a rift between him and club as he reported it to be offensive.

Posting on social media earlier this year, he claimed to have suffered a "culture of racist jokes" and was nicknamed "Chimp" while at the club. Court documents file on his behalf, state he "suffered loss, damage and injury including trauma, humiliation, distress, and loss of enjoyment. The documents also state the club failed to take proper action to prevent the racial abuse. Six former players have come forward to verify Lumumba’s allegation he was called "Chimp". Coach Nathan Buckley, who played alongside Lumumba, said he never heard the nickname.

Collingwood in June said it would investigate Lumumba’s allegations and launched an independent review of the club’s culture during his playing career at the Magpies.


Article last changed on Wednesday, January 06, 2021 - 8:23 PM EST

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