Hawthorn’s former player manager takes ‘indefinite leave’ from Caulfield Grammar

Hawthorn’s former player development manager has stepped down “indefinitely” from his role at a prestigious Melbourne private school amid the fallout from a report into alleged racism at the club.

Caulfield Grammar emailed parents on Wednesday night to inform them Jason Burt, who was previously Hawthorn’s player development manager, had taken a leave of absence from his position at the school.

Former Hawthorn Football Club player development manager Jason Burt has been embroiled in the racism scandal at the club.

It comes after a report by external consultants raised allegations made by Indigenous former Hawks players. The players alleged that during their playing days at Hawthorn they were told to live separately from their families, and, in some cases, forced to cut ties. One player and his partner were allegedly pressured to terminate a pregnancy.

The review was commissioned after allegations made by former premiership star Cyril Rioli and his partner Shannyn in The Age.

AFL coach Alastair Clarkson, who is at the centre of the crisis, vigorously defended himself against any claims of wrongdoing.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan speaks to the media after the Hawthorn racism allegations.Credit:Getty Images

Caulfield Grammar principal Ashleigh Martin said Burt wanted to engage fully in the independent investigation that has been called by the AFL.

“Today Jason Burt advised me of his decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from his role as head of coaching and performance sport, a role that he has been in for three and a half years,” the email reads.

The allegations, reported by ABC Sport, include that Burt allegedly told anonymous player “Zac” that his wife had miscarried, and that he was previously involved in a meeting with Clarkson and Fagan in which the player’s partner was told their relationship was over.

“Jason Burt came up to me at training and just mentioned it in a ‘by the way’ kind of comment. He said ‘mate, Kylie had a miscarriage but don’t worry, she’s fine and has good support’,” the player reportedly said.

The anonymous player was allegedly moved into Burt’s house and told to cease contact with his partner.

The partner of another player – “Ian” – also reportedly alleged Burt told her in a separate meeting that the club felt it was better for the player’s career if the couple broke up.

Both women – referred to in ABC reporting as “Amy” and “Kylie” – allegedly tried to contact Burt in an attempt to get in touch with their partners.

The Age has attempted to contact Burt for comment.

Clarkson, who last month signed a lucrative five-year deal to coach the Kangaroos and was due to start the job on November 1, released a strongly worded statement saying he had not been afforded “due process”. Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, a colleague of Clarkson’s at Hawthorn, has also taken leave from his job after being named in the report without being approached by the authors to comment on the allegations.

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