MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Cyril Rioli of the Hawks kicks the ball during the round four AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 15, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Since Cyril Rioli's claims of racism a couple of weeks ago, there has been much speculation about the culture of the Hawks.

At the forefront of the saga, Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett is believed to have spoken to Cyril's wife Shannyn in a racist manner within the past four years.

This was reportedly the catalyst for the superstar leaving the Hawks and ultimately ending his AFL career entirely.

Since the claims were made public via a report from Caroline Wilson of The Age, Jeff Kennett reveals that he has since spoken to the ex-Hawk via text.

As quoted by The Herald Sun, Kennett said “I've sent Cyril many, many text messages over recent times."

“He sent me one in January first, wanting to talk, and I have not been back here in Darwin since to do that.

“Then there were the articles in the paper and I've tried to contact him since.

“We connected Monday briefly and I'm hoping that might lead to a better flow of communications.

“I hope Cyril and Shannyn will feel comfortable about coming back to the club."

Kennett also had a meeting with Rioli's uncle Michael Long in which he accentuated his care for the family.

Long declared that the Riolis are looking to "get help," which Kennett claims he is willing to give.

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)

“We love our nephew but we've seen the change in our nephew and it's not the way we've brought him up,'' Long said.

“We brought him up to have respect, but he's changed and he needs to get professional help.

“He needs to address it himself.”

Kennett plans to meet with Cyril's father and Long on Wednesday to discuss ways to help Rioli and his wife out.

Since Rioli's exit from the AFL, Long's relationship with him appears to have dampened with the two not communicating since 2018.

With the Hawks set to play the Swans in Launceston on Anzac Day, Kennett plans to invite the Riolis as a way of reconnecting.
However, Kennett and the Hawks view their Doug Nicholls Round game against the Suns on May 28 in Darwin as the next stage of their reconciliation with the Riolis.