AFL player Jonathon Patton retires after lewd message scandal

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Jonathon Patton has announced his immediate retirement from the AFL. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Jonathon Patton has announced his immediate retirement from the AFL. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Hawthorn forward Jon Patton has announced his immediate retirement from the AFL, months after allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour were aired against him.

In a statement, Patton apologised for his past behaviour, saying his time away from football had given him space to reflect on his actions.

'DONATE HIS SALARY': Brutal call to axe $900k AFL recruit

'STUPID THINGS': Eddie McGuire's heated clash over 'debacle' claim

Citing a diminished love for football, Patton said his retirement would be effective immediately and that he would not play at any level in the near future.

“I have made the difficult decision to retire from football to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game,” he wrote in a statement.

“The constant battle to overcome injuries since I entered the AFL 10 years ago has been relentless and, on many occasions, overwhelming. 

"Whilst I have loved every minute of playing on the AFL stage, my enjoyment of the game has ultimately diminished. As such, I will not play football at any level this year.

“I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for my inappropriate behaviour towards women. Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on my mistakes. 

"My actions were completely unacceptable, and I am truly sorry for any distress I have caused. 

"I am committed to continuing to learn from my mistakes and actively make the necessary changes.

“I have very much appreciated the opportunities I have been given by both Hawthorn and the Giants and for the continued support I have received from countless teammates, staff and fans from both clubs.”

Patton was stood down by Hawthorn back in January, after multiple women came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

The 27-year-old was admitted to hospital soon afterwards to help assist him in managing his mental health.

Jacqueline Kearton and Elle Conan, pictured here on Instagram.
Jacqueline Kearton and Elle Conan both made allegations against Jonathon Patton. Images: Instagram

Jonathon Patton retires after complaints of unsolicited messages

It was first reported in January that the Hawks star was under internal investigation by his club after a woman complained about his behaviour on social media.

Two women later came forward separately with similar allegations of unsolicited messages.

Speaking to Nine News, Elle Conan said once she struck up conversation with the 27-year-old Hawthorn player he began sending her unwanted sexual messages.

“Basically from the get-go he was talking to me in such a sexual nature that I never reciprocated,” Conan said.

“He would send me photos of him in bed exposed.

“I would make it really clear that I didn’t want that from him.”

Jonathon Patton has retired from the AFL, ending his 95-game career. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Jonathon Patton has retired from the AFL, ending his 95-game career. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Jacqueline Kearton did her own interview with Channel 7, arguing sending unwarranted sexual messages to women was a problem that needed to be solved.

“He just needs to be made an example of so these young guys who are coming up and looking at these older players think they’d better not do that sort of stuff,” Kearton said.

“Unfortunately it’s not something that’s uncommon but it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

Patton was drafted with the first overall pick by the GWS Giants in 2011, but struggled with serious injuries for much of his career.

He played 89 games for the Giants, requiring three seperate knee reconstructions before he was traded to Hawthorn, managing another six games before a torn plantaris tendon sidelined him again.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.