WARNING: This story contains intergenerational trauma for Indigenous people and pregnancy loss
Brisbane has announced head coach Chris Fagan will take a leave of absence while he co-operates with an investigation into explosive reports about his time at Hawthorn.
Fagan was one of three former Hawks employees – alongside four-time premiership winning coach Alastair Clarkson and former development officer Jason Burt – named in an ABC report alleging serious mistreatment of several Aboriginal players while they were contracted to the Hawks.
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Fagan has since left Hawthorn and now coaches the Lions.
“Chris supports and welcomes the investigation,” Brisbane said in a statement.
“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.”
At the time of the alleged incidents, Fagan was the general manager of football while Clarkson was senior coach at the Hawks.
Fagan has been head coach of the Lions since 2017.
The AFL has now launched an investigation into the allegations.
“These are serious allegations, and it’s important that we treat them appropriately, whilst also ensuring the formal process provides support to those impacted and also natural justice to those people who are accused.,” AFL boss Gil McLachlan told media on Wednesday.
“I had conversations this morning with clubs, representatives of those accused, and I feel that the way they will be approaching this impending investigation will be clear today.”
Clarkson no longer coaches the Hawks, but has been signed to coach North Melbourne starting in November.
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