Former Hawks skipper Luke Hodge supports Hawthorn coaches after racism allegations are made in club review

Three-time Hawthorn premiership captain Luke Hodge has thrown his support behind his former Hawks coaches, following allegations in an external review that the club mistreated First Nations players.

Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan, and Jason Burt were named in the review, with Clarkson and Fagan standing aside from official duties at their new clubs while an AFL investigation takes place.

The external review, commissioned by Hawthorn, has alleged that Clarkson was among key figures at the club who demanded the separation of young First Nations players from their partners, that pressured one couple to terminate a pregnancy.

Clarkson said he was shocked by the allegations, while Fagan denied any wrongdoing

Hodge, who was at the Hawks from 2002 to 2017, before joining Fagan’s Lions from 2018 to 2019, said the coaches “only ever wanted the best for me and my family”.

“I cannot speak to the confronting accusations which we have all learned about in the Hawthorn racism report,” Hodge wrote.

“What I can do is share my own personal experiences of some of the people I know who’ve been named.

“Alastair Clarkson shaped me into the person I am today. Inheriting a bit of a brat from Colac, he was never afraid to give me the honest truths that I needed. love and care for me and my future.

“Then when Lauren and I started a family he was the one I turned to. He has always shared his own stories and helped me to be comfortable in my own skin.”

A sweaty Luke Hodge talks to Chris Fagan, wearing a Brisbane Lions jumper, on the sidelines.
Hodge with Chris Fagan in 2019. Hodge left Melbourne to join Fagan in Brisbane for the final two seasons of his career.(AAP: Darren England)

After leaving Hawthorn, Hodge joined Fagan in Brisbane to act as an on-field coach for the developing Lions squad.

“Such is the trust and belief that I have in Chris Fagan as a person, I moved my whole family interstate solely because he was leading that club,” Hodge wrote.

“He is the most extraordinary mentor and confidant. I am just so proud and not one bit surprised of the culture he has created and what he has built in Brisbane.”

Hodge also backed the work Burt did at the Hawks.

“The work Jason Burt did to help young and not-so-young players transition in and out of footy was simply tireless,” Hodge wrote.

“I know people will have their own opinions on what I’m saying, but I just had to show support in a tough time for those that did exactly that for me throughout the more challenging moments of my life.

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