Australian Football League investigates racism allegations

STORY: The Australian Football League is investigating "extremely serious" allegations about the treatment of Indigenous former players at 13-times champions Hawthorn.

One former player said coaches urged him to have his partner's pregnancy aborted.

He said he had made multiple suicide attempts since leaving the club, according to reporting from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Citing an independent review commissioned by Hawthorn, the ABC reported that the club's staff had separated players from their families and controlled communication between them so they would focus on their careers.

The players were not identified in either the review or the ABC report.

Gillon McLachlan, the AFL's Chief Executive said it would set up an external panel to investigate further.

"I want to acknowledge that this is a really distressing day for the people who have shared their experiences. What we have seen today is a challenging, harrowing and disturbing read. // These are serious allegations and it's important that we treat them appropriately whilst also ensuring the formal process provides support to those impacted and also natural justice to those people who are accused."

Hawthorn Chief Executive Justin Reeves said the club had offered support to the relevant players and families.

"I read the report like you guys today, it's tough reading, it's heart breaking. "

He added that the review had given him confidence that current Hawthorn players felt "culturally safe".