The independent investigation into racism claims at Hawthorn has received a significant boost with four players and their families agreeing to take part.
They made the decision after the AFL released a statement on Saturday, reaffirming its commitment to a wider response across the league to dealing with racism.
The league added at the time “a number of participants” would take part in the investigation.
The day before, the group of players had released an open letter, calling on the AFL to admit its own failings before they agreed to be part of the investigation.
Last week, a woman identified only as Amy released a lengthy statement through her lawyers, saying she would not become involved in the investigation and detailed a number of concerns.
But on Tuesday, The Age reported the four players and their families had released a statement through a separate law firm, Arnold Bloch Leibler, saying they accepted the league’s commitment as “demonstration of its good faith”.
“Our open letter to the AFL commissioners and (chief executive) Gillon McLachlan asked the AFL to have a good hard look at itself in relation to racism in the game and not to deal with racism on a club-by-club or crisis-by-crisis basis,” The Age quoted the statement as saying.
“In response, the AFL has now publicly committed to work together and coordinate a wider response to racism in the AFL. We accept and rely on this good faith, unqualified, binding commitment by the AFL and based upon it, we reaffirm our willingness to participate in the Hawthorn independent investigation.
“We trust that as a further demonstration of its good faith commitment the AFL will now detail how and when it intends to commence this work, the terms of reference, who will undertake it, and if it will be open and transparent to the world.”
A four-person investigation panel will look into bombshell claims of racism at Hawthorn between 2008-16.
New North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson and Brisbane mentor Chris Fagan are key figures in the investigation. They strongly deny the claims made against them.