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AFL WAG Jesinta Franklin ‘advised to keep a low profile’ amid Hawthorn racism scandal

Sydney Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin and his wife Jesinta have reportedly been told to keep a low profile amid the ongoing Hawthorn racism scandal.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, media outlets have been keen to chat to both Buddy and Jesinta ahead of the AFL Grand Final, but the couple have been ‘advised to avoid making any comment’ for the time being. 

Buddy is a proud indigenous man and both he and wife Jesinta have been incredibly outspoken when it comes to issues around race and Australia’s First Nations people.

Sydney Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin and his wife Jesinta have reportedly been told to keep a low profile amid the ongoing Hawthorn racism scandal. Pictured in 2017

He also previously played for Hawthorn from 2005 to 2013, before switching over to Sydney. 

Lying low could prove difficult for socialite and beauty queen Jesinta, who is a successful brand ambassador and fashion influencer.

The AFL WAG has a slew of gigs representing luxury brands like Fendi, Armani, and Lancôme, and is often contracted to appear at events or to give interviews to promote the products.

Lying low could prove difficult for socialite and beauty queen Jesinta, who is a successful brand ambassador and fashion influencer

Lying low could prove difficult for socialite and beauty queen Jesinta, who is a successful brand ambassador and fashion influencer

Earlier this week, she hinted that she had work commitments scheduled around the Grand Final after touching down in Melbourne.

‘A big week ahead of work, fun, conferences, fam time…. Oh, and a Grand Final,’ she wrote to her 373,000 followers.

Jesinta has been keeping her fans abreast of her activities in Melbourne on social media, but has noticeably avoided giving any official interviews or making any statements on the current Hawthorn race scandal. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Jesinta for comment.  

The AFL WAG has a slew of gigs representing luxury brands, and is often contracted to appear at events to promote them. Pictured promoting Lancôme on July 14 in Sydney

The AFL WAG has a slew of gigs representing luxury brands, and is often contracted to appear at events to promote them. Pictured promoting Lancôme on July 14 in Sydney

The independent investigation into allegations of mistreatment of indigenous players at the Hawthorn club must balance speed with due process, Australian Rules chief Gillon McLachlan said on Friday.

The Australian Football League (AFL) has promised an investigation into ‘serious allegations’ about coercive control of the former players, including one that coaches urged a player to have his partner’s pregnancy aborted.

‘I think the right response is we will expedite it because we need to for both the courageous claimants and for those accused,’ AFL chief executive McLachlan said.

‘But … we need the right panel, we need the right process, and everyone needs to feel safe telling their story. They do clash a little, we have to find that right balance, and we are working assiduously toward that.’

Buddy, who is Indigenous, previously played for Hawthorn from 2005 to 2013, before switching over to Sydney. Pictured on September 17

Buddy, who is Indigenous, previously played for Hawthorn from 2005 to 2013, before switching over to Sydney. Pictured on September 17

The allegations about the unnamed players were contained in an independent review commissioned by Hawthorn and reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.

Former Hawthorn head coach Alastair Clarkson and his onetime assistant Chris Fagan have flatly denied any wrongdoing during their time at the Melbourne-based club.

Both have stood down form their current roles at other clubs pending the probe and released statements saying they would cooperate with the investigation.

Earlier this week, Jesinta hinted that she had work commitments scheduled around the Grand Final after touching down in Melbourne. Pictured above

Earlier this week, Jesinta hinted that she had work commitments scheduled around the Grand Final after touching down in Melbourne. Pictured above

McLachlan is, however, also coming under pressure to investigate the treatment of indigenous players at every club in the league.

‘What is clear is that the AFL industry has an issue with the treatment of First Nations and multicultural players,’ Paul Marsh, the head of the player’s union, told the Herald Sun.

‘These are, at their core, human rights issues. To move forward, the industry has to understand, acknowledge and seek to repair the issues of the past.’

Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves sent a letter to fans on Friday explaining that the review was commissioned after media reports earlier this year about the poor experiences of indigenous player Cyril Rioli at the club.

Hawthorn players celebrate their 2013 grand final win. Daily Mail Australia does not claim any of the players pictured in the photo are in any way involved in the allegations uncovered by the club's external review

Hawthorn players celebrate their 2013 grand final win. Daily Mail Australia does not claim any of the players pictured in the photo are in any way involved in the allegations uncovered by the club’s external review

‘Around two weeks ago we received the results of that work. And as you can now see, some of those stories are disturbing,’ he wrote.

‘We are profoundly heartbroken that there are people who feel like this about their experience at our club.’

In a measure of how important the sport is in its southern heartlands, the people of the state of Victoria were on Friday enjoying the public holiday observed every year on the eve of the AFL Grand Final.

HAWTHORN RACISM CLAIMS

* Players were bullied into relocating, made to choose between their careers and families.

* At least two players were forced to replace the SIM cards in their phones in order to cut them off from their partners.

* A group of coaches, including Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan, urged a player to have his partner’s pregnancy terminated.

* The same player was told to ‘get rid’ of his partner and move into the home of an assistant coach.

* Another player was told his partner was holding him back and he needed to end the relationship to fulfil his football potential.

* The player was relocated to another residence and cut off from his partner, who was pregnant at the time and miscarried a few weeks later.

* Another new recruit from interstate was separated from his partner and young child, who was born soon after his arrival at the club. The family was not allowed to visit the player until the child was four months old because the club deemed the family would be a ‘distraction’ to the player.

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