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Rioli Celebrates (file photo)

At the end of May, the AFLPA released a statement regarding the conclusion of the Hawthorn racism investigation. The statement expressed disappointment, saying that despite the panel's independence, the AFL stilt had control and called the investigation "flawed". They reiterated their support for all those impacted and any future legal action those involved might take. It said in part, "As an industry, we have legal and moral duties to our players – past, present, and future – to ensure they are physically, mentally, and culturally safe and respected ... The allegations raised .... .were extremely serious and disturbing in nature and required an independent, wide-ranging, well-resourced and culturally safe process. The AFLPA had serious concerns with the AFL’s process from the outset. We raised those concerns with the AFL formally, and made our views known publicly ... Our industry must get better at preventing and responding to racism and other fundamental human rights concerns."

Through the AFLPA, players have put forth a proposal for a Human Rights Policy and Framework as part of the current collective bargaining negotiations for the next agreement (CBA). The AFLPA’s Human Rights Steering Committee and Indigenous Advisory Board will play an active role to address all the issues. They did acknowledge the work the AFL has done but believe more needs to be done and has asked the league for " ... a clear timeline, process and plan, as well as further information on the additional resources it intends to commit to while undertaking these initiatives and we call on the AFL to work in partnership with the AFLPA on the design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of these initiatives."

Former Hawk star Cyril Rioli, his wife, ex-players Carl Peterson and Jermaine Miller-Lewis, and Jermaine's partner Montanah, as well as former Indigenous advisor Leon Egan, released an open letter detailing the claims which prompted the investigation. They stated that the players and families involved felt "betrayed" by Hawthorn and that they lost control of their lives. A formal complaint has been lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

The letter says in part, " ... We were separated from our families. We were told an unborn child would ruin our futures ... We reached an agreement with the AFL not out of fear, but strength, because the AFL finally apologized to all First Nations players for racism in football. We were never scared of being named. We were worried about impacts on others. We previously allowed these people to use their power to control our lives. It should never happen again."

There has yet to be word of whether or not the AFL will impose sanctions against Hawthorn or the players and their families will take legal action against the club and/or the league. There is also a significant chance that coaches Chris Fagan and Alastair Clarkson will commence legal action against the AFL for the alleged mishandling of the entire affair. 

SOURCE: Bobby Beaton, AFLPA Media Release,

Article last changed on Sunday, June 04, 2023 - 7:35 PM EDT


Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 06, 2023

Great informative article, incredibly insightful. I speculate the additional pros with the business usually do not observe that. You ought to last your own writing. 



Drive Mad

Posted by Kenyagarza on May 20, 2024

This article sheds light on the AFLPA players' disappointment with the Hawthorn investigation outcome. While the article doesn't mention papa's games directly, it does highlight the deep concern players have regarding cultural issues within the AFL. This situation calls for a thorough and transparent investigation to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all players.

Posted by lilycollins on July 26, 2023

the statement emphasized the need for the AFL and the entire football industry to improve their methods of preventing and responding to racism incredibox and other human rights issues. By acknowledging the flaws in the investigation process and advocating for a more robust approach, the AFLPA aims to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all players within the sport.

Posted by brianafahey on May 20, 2024

The AFLPA's disappointment with the Hawthorn investigation outcome underscores the ongoing challenges in addressing and resolving serious concerns within sports organizations. On a lighter note, if you're looking for a way to navigate through challenges and have some fun, the Slope game is an excellent choice. It's a game that tests your reflexes and resilience as you roll down a slope, much like navigating the complexities of real-world issues.

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