Cyril Rioli updates, text, racist comment on footy trip, reaction from Shaun Burgoyne, Luke Hodge speaks after Caroline Wilson’s article
AFL great Shaun Burgoyne was “angry and frustrated” when he learned of a racist comment made about a Hawthorn player’s partner by a teammate in 2013.
Burgoyne, like former club captain Luke Hodge, was unaware of the comment until it was raised by Cyril Rioli last week.
Hodge said he was “sad”, “flat” and “upset” for the Riolis after reading at the weekend about their experiences during the former star striker’s stint at Hawthorn.
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Rioli and his partner Shannyn Ah Sam-Rioli confided in age about several incidents at the Hawks during the four-time star’s career, in particular a comment from Chairman Jeff Kennett that Shannyn’s ripped jeans were the final straw that prompted Shannyn’s surprise retirement Cyril in 2018.
Burgoyne, who spent 12 seasons with the Hawks during a 407-game career, said the incident happened on a soccer trip to Bali that he did not attend.
“It surprised me this week when I read that in the article,” Burgoyne said on Seven.
“I had no knowledge of an incident and no knowledge until I read it in the paper, which makes me a little angry and a little frustrated, because if I had known something would have been made about it on the spot.
“But I didn’t, and I found out this week, which was very surprising.”
It has been reported that a senior player asked his teammates during an end-of-season trip if an Aboriginal player’s partner, who was present at the time, was “also ab***g”.
“I think it was a soccer trip to Bali so I didn’t go, I wasn’t there, I’m not sure of the actual details on that,” Burgoyne said.
“It was offshore but that’s no excuse. The players talked about it and they seemed to have sorted it out on the spot, but things of this magnitude and importance need to come back to the club and be dealt with in the right way. The players involved are probably learning this by now.
Burgoyne left several phone messages for Rioli but did not speak directly with his former teammate.
“I didn’t realize he felt that at the time. Obviously, he doesn’t say much to Cyril, but it’s his feelings and his words, and his wife’s feelings and words, that have to be respected. At the time, no, I didn’t really know he felt that way.
Speaking on SEN WhatleyHodge said he was and was unaware of some of the incidents raised by the Riolis in the article.
“I was very shocked (about) the story in 2013 about what was reported to the management group and what was told to the players – it was very concerning, because I was sitting there as only captain at the time and I hadn’t heard of that story,” Hodge told SEN Whatley.
Asked directly by Gerard Whateley if he was aware that Rioli had approached the management group with a complaint about a racist remark made during an end-of-season trip in 2013, only to be told “you’re here to play foot,” Hodge said: “No – and I phoned ‘Caro’ to discuss it… She was really good on a 20, 25 minute conversation.
“The whole thing was I wanted to know more about it because how it read, it was going terribly and I wanted to know if it was true, who did he go to and talk to. The leadership group process that we had was on a Monday, there’s six players, there’s (Chris) Fagan, there’s (Alastair) Clarkson and you go through areas of the game that you’re good at, that you need to improve, the squad and how they went – and then you reviewed if there were any issues around the club.
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“So if something this serious had been brought to management, you would have spoken about it – and I can tell you right now that would not have been the message that was sent back. That’s why I spoke to Caro to try to understand the ins and outs of where she heard it. She said some of the information given to her wasn’t 100% correct at the time – and she adjusted her story at the time – but I think what you read first is what you keep in mind.
Hodge said he has since spoken to former teammates, both inside and outside the leadership group, and found that a comment was indeed made about an end-of-season trip. which had left a “very injured” player.
Asked directly by broadcaster Gerard Whateley if he knew Rioli had approached
He said he spoke to the two players involved, as well as a senior player who oversaw an apology – and the acceptance of an apology – at the time.
“What I found out was there was a senior player there and they talked about it,” he said. “The senior player brought the two players together, obviously discussed what was said and what happened, apologies were made, apologies were accepted, and then they kind of went after the rest. of their trip.
“I asked the senior player: ‘Should that come back to us?’ And he clearly said in his mind that it was resolved in that the three players who were involved in the discussion, they resolved it. There were apologies, the apologies were accepted, and then they moved on. I spoke to all three.
“What we do know is that it’s not just about what was said, but rather how it was taken. I spoke to the native player who heard this and was hurt by these comments and he repeated the same thing. He says it was a sincere apology and because he knew the person and he knew when the apology was made that he meant it, he said the same thing and it was resolved at that time- there and that they have been friends ever since.
Hodge said he felt uncomfortable the club were not doing enough to ensure Rioli felt supported during his career.
“The number of times we’ve told players ‘it’s okay’, but it’s only when you dive a little deeper, ask pointed questions that you really get the right answer and understand their feelings” , did he declare. .
“You kind of sit down and think, ‘Did we ask probing enough questions to see how Cyril or how the other native pieces felt?’ It’s kind of up to you that we didn’t ask those pointed questions, which you don’t like.
Hodge said he had tried to contact Rioli for the past few days, but was unsuccessful.
“I know when talking to a lot of boys, they tried to contact him,” he said. “He was probably inundated with messages, but as a former team-mate and as a club… you can’t push someone into this. You have to sit down, you have to respect their wishes, give them time. But all we can do as former teammates is let him know we’re here for a chat if he needs to – and that can take a long time.
“I’m the same as all the football lovers who want to see Cyril back in the AFL, I’m the same as all the Hawthorn supporters who want to see Cyril back to Hawthorn and I’m the same as all of Cyril’s teammates, who , through what we’ve been through as a group, every four times every 10 years, we have the opportunity to catch up and celebrate what we’ve been able to do, I just hope we all have the opportunity to sit down with Cyril, have a beer and discuss what we have been able to accomplish.