AFL boss hopeful of mediation in Hawthorn racism saga
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan remains hopeful mediation can be achieved in the Hawthorn racism saga, despite Alastair Clarkson's explosive comments about the process.
There appears to be no end in sight to the investigation about what happened at the Hawks between 2008 and 2016.
Last week, a fuming Clarkson slammed panel chairman Bernard Quinn, KC, and authorities at Hawthorn, describing the sport as a "victim" for the investigation dragging on since allegations became public in September.
Clarkson unloaded on the club he coached to four premierships, saying Hawthorn should be investigated over their "shameful" handling of the situation.
The current North Melbourne coach, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan and Jason Burt have been named as figures involved in an alleged episode of racism during their time with the Hawks.
All deny any wrongdoing.
McLachlan conceded the process had already taken too long, but was hopeful meditation could be achieved between several First Nations families, Hawthorn and the former Hawk staff members.
"I think everyone accepts this needs to come to an end," he said at Marvel Stadium on Tuesday.
"I'm hopeful that through the mediation process that the parties will be able to come together.
"I know there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes. It's not easy."
Quinn broke the rules he set up by issuing a statement to the media last week about the investigation.
It led to Clarkson and Fagan expressing their frustration about the whole process in the days after Quinn's statement.
Clarkson, Fagan and Burt are yet to be given an official right to respond to the damning allegations, even during the initial review conducted at Hawthorn by Phil Egan.
"I think, more broadly, the public commentary makes it difficult - I'm not talking about specifics - generally makes it harder that path to coming together more difficult,'' McLachlan said.
"And that's what we want, the parties to come together and work through this issue."