Eddie Betts insists he was NOT surprised by allegations surrounding Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan’s treatment of Indigenous players as AFL legend urges EVERY club to conduct a review after Hawthorn investigation
- Eddie Betts says he was not surprised by allegations revealed on Wednesday
- Claims about Alastair Clarkson’s alleged treatment of Indigenous stars emerged
- It is claimed he told a player to terminate the life of his unborn child
- Betts has now called for every AFL club to conduct an external review
Eddie Betts has had his say on the explosive allegations made against Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan, insisting that he was not surprised by the latest development that has rocked the AFL.
Clarkson, 54, along with Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, are the subject of allegations surrounding their handling of several Indigenous players and their families during their time at Hawthorn.
A report by ABC Sport claims that the review, commissioned by Hawthorn, contains allegations pertaining to Clarkson demanding that one player urge his partner to terminate their pregnancy and end their relationship.
Eddie Betts says he was not surprised by allegations about the treatment of Indigenous players
Clarkson has refuted the allegations made against him and his arrival at North Melbourne has been delayed in response to Wednesday’s revelations, and former Indigenous AFL star Betts says he did not find the news surprising.
‘It was a tough read, but I wasn’t surprised to be honest,’ he said on AFL360. ‘As Aboriginal people we are not surprised as well. We have faced these issues in many systems, in the education system, in the justice system, in the health system and it comes back to what I have been preaching a lot and that is education.’
Betts – who revealed he spoke with AFL chief Gillon McLachlan on Wednesday – has now urged every club to launch their own external reviews into their treatment of past and current Indigenous players.
Clarkson is accused of telling a player to end the life of his unborn child while at Hawthorn
Betts says every AFL club should conduct an external review (pictured: Gillon McLachlan)
‘My heart goes out to those players for being brave, for speaking up and their families as well but it was really hard. This could happen at any club. If Shaun Burgoyne was at that football club and it slid under the table then, as a leader and listening to him speak he was very devastated that these boys did not speak to him, if that was the case this can happen at any football club.
‘I think every football club should do a review like this. Every club should come out and do an external review, contact the Indigenous players, the past Indigenous players and see how that footy club was.’
Meanwhile, former Hawthorn player Jordan Lewis – who played under Clarkson with the club – says Wednesday’s revelations have disturbed his former teammates.
‘The overall emotion is devastating,’ he said. ‘Having been involved at that football club and understanding the culture and the Indigenous players that were there and the love and care that we showed from a playing group point of view, and then to realise they had these experiences that we weren’t privy to and I can honestly say hand on heart, when it came out this morning… to a man no-one ever heard of anything like this happening during our time there.
‘We as a playing group were never privy to those, so it is clearly disturbing if these allegations are true when it should have been a safe environment.