The six complainants involved in the AFL’s internal investigation into historical racism allegations at the Hawthorn football club, will be taking further legal action.
Lawyer Leon Zwier is representing the complainants, and says the case will be going to the Human Rights Commission.
“Our clients will be commencing an Australian Human Rights Commission complaint against Hawthorn Football Club, Clarkson, Fagan and Burt alleging breaches of the Racial Discrimination Act,” Zwier told the ABC.
On Wednesday, the AFL announced no adverse findings have been made against former Hawthorn coaches Alistair Clarkson, Chris Fagan and former welfare manager Jason Burt
The trio were named in explosive racism allegations last year.
The months-long investigation has now come to an end, with no charges brought against any party.
The AFL says the First Nations players and families involved wished “to resolve all differences” with the league.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, says no further action will be taken.
“The complainants agree that the allegations that they’ve made should not be further investigated by the independent panel.
The AFL has now terminated the independent panel investigation with no charges to be brought against any person subject to the AFL rules as a result of the independent investigation,” he said.
Despite the resolution, the AFL may still charge the club with bringing the game into disrepute.
CEO Gillon McLachlan says the club could still be liable for sanctions because their handling of the allegations put people in a “highly vulnerable situation.”
Hawthorn president Andy Gowers says the club is having ongoing discussions with the league on the matter.
“There are a number of ongoing discussions with the AFL.
Of course, we would be extremely disappointed if this matter led to sanctions including financial.
I would say we went into this process with the best of intention, and I don’t think anyone is questioning that,” Growers said.
Clarkson, Fagan and Burt have continually denied the allegations.