Indigenous Hawk great Burgoyne in shock

·2-min read

Hawthorn's Indigenous great Shaun Burgoyne says he was unaware of "confronting" racism claims while at the AFL club.

Burgoyne, the first Indigenous footballer to play 400 AFL games, says he was shocked to read media reports on Wednesday detailing alleged racism at the Hawks.

"It's very confronting to be honest, to see that and hear that, because I had no knowledge of those instances ever happening," Burgoyne told a grand final luncheon in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"I was never involved. I was never asked. This is the first I've heard of it.

"So it's very confronting, considering I was there and I wasn't involved in any of it. Because I would have helped and I would have definitely been able to hopefully prevent some of those things from happening."

Burgoyne played for Port Adelaide from 2001 to 2009 then joined the Hawks from 2010 until retiring last year

The ABC reported on Wednesday that a former Hawthorn Indigenous player alleged he was told by ex-coach Alastair Clarkson to terminate his partner's pregnancy.

The player said a group of coaches including Clarkson and Chris Fagan also urged him to break up with his partner, the ABC reported.

Clarkson, who has released a statement denying any wrongdoing, has delayed starting as North Melbourne's new coach from November 1.

Fagan has taken leave as Brisbane coach as the AFL launches an independent investigation into the claims.

Clarkson was Hawthorn's head coach from 2005 and 2021, while Fagan was an assistant coach and general manager of football at the club from 2008 to 2016, before being appointed Brisbane coach in 2017.

Hawthorn earlier this year held a review into claims of historic racism at the club.

The review was performed by external First Nations consultants who did not speak with Clarkson or Fagan.

"This process was ... to speak purely to our First Nations past players and staff," Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves told reporters on Wednesday.

"We had no idea what was to come out of those conversations so we didn't speak to anyone outside of that group."

Hawthorn's current coach Sam Mitchell, who played for the club between 2002 and 2016, said the ABC report was "enormously troubling".

"I'm torn in a thousand different directions, to be honest," he told the same luncheon as Burgoyne.

"I'm very much like everyone else, I got a heads-up yesterday that something was coming out.

"And when I woke up and read it this morning I was upset ... the word disturbed was probably accurate."