Ex-AFL coach’s confronting question amid racism fight
After Cyril Rioli and his wife, Shannyn, publicly addressed a controversial remark from Jeff Kennett in an interview with The Age on Saturday, the Hawthorn president broke his silence through a Hawks statement on Wednesday.
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“This goes back to 2013, and I know Jeff’s letter addressed Cyril Rioli, but it seems deeper than that,” Lyon said on Nine’s Footy Classified.
“On the back of Collingwood and the commissioned report… is there a head-in-the-sand element to AFL clubs?
“Now, Hawthorn knew this was bubbling around. We’re talking since ’13… this was head-in-the-sand (stuff)… it’s great it’s come to light.
“I think there’d be a number of AFL clubs that maybe need to get proactive.
“… let’s get proactive and move forward and not wait and have it raised through a newspaper.”
The report, labelled Do Better and released in January 2021, found Collingwood guilty of systemic racism, and the review and how the Magpies responded to it led to the resignation of long-standing president Eddie McGuire.
Tanya Hosch, the AFL’s general manager of inclusion and social policy, called for patience in the battle against racism.
“We all wish that there was a silver bullet or a number of quick fixes with dealing with racism,” Hosch said on Footy Classified.
“Racism has been in this country since colonisation, so I am often perplexed as to why people would have an expectation that we can fix racism in institutions, organisations, schools, wherever you may look, quickly. We have to acknowledge that the accumulative impact of racism and the legacies of all of the terrible things that have happened before don’t end at that point in time. They follow us.”
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Hosch then stressed the importance of discussion to combatting racism.
“I think what we have to realise is the most important thing we can do is continue to have this conversation, have the hard conversations and face into all of the things we need to do concurrently across the entire industry, if we really want to make a difference and make proper inroads into eradicating racism from the game.”
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