Former Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge has spoken on the allegations levelled against the Hawks, with Russell Jackson's report for ABC Sports publishing accounts of distressing behaviour directed towards First Nations players and their families.
Hodge, who captained the club from 2011-2016, said on SEN Radio that the damning report had been a "shock to the system" but admitted that he never saw, nor heard, any incidents to the extent of what was detailed.
“I've only had (the story) for about an hour. I'm still a bit unsure of my thought process. It's a shock to the system reading some of the things that were alleged in that," Hodge said.
“It's shocking. Terrible. But you sit back and does it dampen … what we went through as a group, we had a lot of successful years, but at this stage that's irrelevant because of what young blokes were told or what they were put through.
“When you get drafted by a football club, it's supposed to be an exciting time of your life. It's supposed to be ‘my life has changed, now I have a pathway for the next 10 to 15 years hopefully', that's not what happened with these young kids.”
The incidents detailed in the report, which included allegations of displacing players from their families and requesting the termination of pregnancies, were said to have occurred during Hawthorn's golden premiership run in the 2010's, a time when Hodge held leadership positions at the club.
Despite his presence inside the four walls at the Hawks, the 38-year-old said he had never heard such allegations during his time as a player.
“Not to the extent of the terrible stuff in there," Hodge admitted to SEN.
“When you have 18, 19, 20-year-old kids getting drafted, you always hear about breakups and whether it's the right thing, personally I've had a lot of private conversations with those guys, especially early on (for me), it was ‘is it the right thing for me to go back and see family and friends in Colac because of catching up and my diet wasn't great and is it the best thing for my football'.
“So those conversations are had every day in big groups and small groups and conversations, but I've never heard anything to the extent of what was written in the article.”
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is set to address the matter publically on Wednesday morning.