MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Hawks President Jeff Kennett celebrates the win during the round 21 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has responded to claims made by Cyril Rioli about his time at the club, confirming that the Hawks will be looking into the incidents reported.

Rioli and wife Shannyn made claims against Kennett and the club in an article with The Age over the weekend, specifically citing an incident between Kennett and Shannyn at Launceston airport in 2018 that left Shannyn feeling “humiliated” after a comment was made about her ripped jeans.

Kennett released a statement through Hawthorn, stating that the club was "saddened" by the reports.

“Let me address the report published in The Age newspaper on Saturday concerning Cyril Rioli and his wife Shannyn,” Kennett said.

“We were all saddened by the story that there had been incidents that had upset both he and his wife.

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“We have taken those claims seriously and are conducting further inquiries to see if there might have been other incidents affecting our past First Nations players.

“Once those inquires have concluded, we will determine if any other action needs to be taken.

“I can assure you that the Board and the administration will not shirk our responsibility to work through these matters.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 09: beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett, a former president of the Hawthorn Hawks Football Club, speaks to AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan who holds the Pride Game AFL ball during an AFL media opportunity at Etihad Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. St.Kilda Saints will play Sydney Swans in the Pride Game on the weekend. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

“Some will demand immediate answers and actions, but, given how important these matters are, the best response is a measured and responsible one.

“We will firstly seek to establish the facts, before working through the best way of responding to the matters that require addressing.

“Matters have been brought to our attention. We are taking them seriously, and any failings will be addressed.

“Can I finally say on this matter: we all want Cyril back with us at Hawthorn. I hope that we can work through the hurt he feels and make him feel welcome and safe in the brown and gold family again.”

Kennett is yet to make a comment on his immediate future at the club, despite calls for him to step down from the presidency, a role he has held since 2017.