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Australia’s Hawthorn football club faces Indigenous racism claims

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian rules football was rocked on Wednesday by allegations of racism and bullying toward Indigenous players, the latest in a string of incidents to roil the country’s most popular sport.

Indigenous players for the Hawthorn Hawks claimed coaches pressured them to stop seeing their partners and, in one case, to have a partner’s pregnancy terminated, to focus on training, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The Australian Football League (AFL) announced it would appoint an independent panel to investigate the claims, and two coaches named in the report stepped aside pending the results.

“What we have seen today is a challenging, harrowing and disturbing read,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said in a news conference on Wednesday. “It’s hard to find more serious allegations.”

For Indigenous Australians, painful…

Read more at www.washingtonpost.com

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