Chris Fagan to step away from Brisbane job during investigation into Hawthorn racism allegations
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan will take a leave of absence from the club while serious allegations regarding Hawthorn’s treatment of First Nations players are investigated.
Fagan was employed at the Hawks as an assistant coach and football manager between 2008 and 2016.
An ABC report released on Wednesday, featuring anonymous accounts from three players, claims First Nations players were coerced into ending relationships and terminating pregnancies.
Fagan, along with then-senior coach Alastair Clarkson and Jason Burt, then-player development manager, were all named in the report.
Brisbane confirmed on Wednesday the club and Fagan have mutually agreed he would be stepping away from his duties in order to cooperate with the AFL-initiated, external investigation.
“The Brisbane Lions are aware senior coach Chris Fagan will work with the AFL on an investigation into allegations concerning historical events at the Hawthorn Football Club, where he was a former employee,” a club statement read.
“Chris supports and welcomes the investigation.
“He was not consulted during the Hawthorn sponsored review and looks forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL investigation.
“The Brisbane Lions and Chris have mutually agreed that he will take a leave of absence from the Club so he can fully cooperate in the investigation.
“As the matters are now with the AFL Integrity Unit, the Brisbane Lions won’t make any further comment at this stage.”
North Melbourne are also expected to make a statement regarding Clarkson on Wednesday.
The four-time premiership winner departed the Hawks in 2021 but was lined up to return to the AFL in 2023, having recently signed a five-year deal with the Kangaroos.