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Tony Armstrong afl socceroos, Indigenous players at Hawthorn Football

Tony Armstrong's strong response to the Hawthorn Hawks' claims was "heartbreaking."

Tony Armstrong got a lot of praise after he talked about what he thought about serious historical claims about the Hawthorn Hawks.

Tony Armstrong, an ABC sports host, got a lot of praise after he talked about serious claims that Indigenous players at the Hawthorn Football Club were mistreated in the past.

ABC Sport said in a report that came out on Wednesday that senior staff at Hawthorn forced First Nations players to break up with their partners and forced one player and his partner to end a pregnancy for the sake of the player's career.

Tony Armstrong afl socceroos, Indigenous players at Hawthorn Football
Tony Armstrong

Armstrong, who played 35 AFL games between 2010 and 2015, said on ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning that Australians should "spare a thought" for the families of those who may have been hurt.

"I've been giving this a lot of thought this morning," he said.

"The accusations themselves are very scary, and who knows how long this will go on for."

I want to send my love to all First Nations people who are reading this, and especially to First Nations people, because this has been a tough time. "If we look at this in a bigger picture, we have had 10 days of nonstop coverage of the Queen, and I know the Queen means a lot to a lot of people, but to first Nations people she was the ultimate symbol of colonization, and we all know what came with colonization."

I think spit hoods, which were mostly used on First Nations people, were banned earlier this week.

We are currently looking at the Kumanjayi Walker case and some text messages that have been sent to and from different police officers.

"Since the Royal Commission, 517 people have died in jail, and now these allegations, I mean...,"

On top of everything else, it's not easy to be out here. I'm very, very sad to hear about these claims, and I guess what's most important to me is that my thoughts are with the families who are allegedly affected, so please think of them today."

In less than eight hours, more than 115,000 people have watched the video of Armstrong's speech on Twitter.

"Tried my best to explain how I've been feeling lately," he wrote on Twitter.

North Melbourne has confirmed that new coach Alastair Clarkson's start date will be pushed back while the AFL's Integrity Unit looks into the claims.

After a bombshell report came out on Wednesday, many people who talk about football said that the former Hawthorn coach and his top assistant Chris Fagan, who is now the head coach of the Brisbane Lions, should step down.

And just a few weeks after giving Clarkson a multimillion-dollar deal to be their coach, the Kangaroos have taken action.

"The North Melbourne Football Club is aware of serious historical claims made against people who worked at the Hawthorn Football Club, including Alastair Clarkson, who will be the next coach of the North Melbourne team," the statement said.

"The issues brought up are now being looked into by the AFL's Integrity Unit, and Alastair is happy to help with any investigation into the claims."

Alastair was supposed to start working for North Melbourne on November 1, but he will push back the start of his job to give himself more time to help with the investigation.

"Because the issues brought up are private and the investigation is still going on, the club will not say anything else at this time."

The Lions said earlier on Wednesday that Fagan would be taking time off.


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