AFL defends itself in wake of Grimes’ ‘cover up’ allegations



The AFL insists it did not breach its own protocols and ensured players were always armed with the necessary information to deal with members of the public after Richmond star Dylan Grimes accused the league of ‘covering up’ an episode at an Adelaide hotel in August.

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Bella Thorne defends Armie Hammer against ‘cannibal’ allegations



Former Disney darling Bella Thorne has taken it upon herself to come to Armie Hammer’s defense amid allegations that he has cannibalistic sexual fantasies.

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AFL news 2021: Jonathon Patton allegations, lewd images, videos, women come forward, social media, Hawthorn statement


A woman who claims she was sent lewd messages by Jonathon Patton has opened up further about her interactions with the AFL star, saying she was asked to send him naked pictures of herself and photos of her feet.

The Hawthorn forward has been stood down while the club investigates allegations of inappropriate behaviour on social media after several women came forward and alleged the 27-year-old sent them unsolicited images and videos.

Patton vehemently denies sending unsolicited images and videos of himself, the Herald Sun reports.

One of the women, Elle Coonan, told Nine “from the get-go he was talking to me in such a sexual nature that I never reciprocated — he would send me photos of him in bed exposed”. She added she “would make it really clear that I didn’t want that from him”, and has now alleged Patton asked if she would travel from Brisbane to Melbourne during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown to meet him.

Round 1

Coonan said the backlash she’s received since making the allegations has been severe, but stood by her decision to go public because sending allegedly unsolicited, lewd material is “never OK”.



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Jonathon Patton allegations, lewd images, videos, women come forward, social media, Hawthorn statement


A woman who claims she was sent lewd messages by Jonathon Patton has opened up further about her interactions with the AFL star, saying she was asked to send him naked pictures of herself and photos of her feet.

The Hawthorn forward has been stood down while the club investigates allegations of inappropriate behaviour on social media after several women came forward and alleged the 27-year-old sent them unsolicited images and videos.

Patton vehemently denies sending unsolicited images and videos of himself, the Herald Sun reports.

One of the women, Elle Coonan, told Nine “from the get-go he was talking to me in such a sexual nature that I never reciprocated — he would send me photos of him in bed exposed”. She added she “would make it really clear that I didn’t want that from him”, and has now alleged Patton asked if she would travel from Brisbane to Melbourne during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown to meet him.

Coonan said the backlash she’s received since making the allegations has been severe, but stood by her decision to go public because sending allegedly unsolicited, lewd material is “never OK”.

“I didn’t sleep for over 40 hours (after going public) … I was in tears all day,’ Coonan told the Daily Mail.

“At times I regretted coming forward and wished I kept my mouth shut … but I know I did the right thing.

“He said wanted to see me in heels and kiss my feet.”

Coonan says Patton first contacted her in June last year, and alleges he sent her videos of a sexual nature without her consent. She also alleges Patton “wanted to suck my toes”.

“Even though we exchanged numbers, this was done so under the guise that he would speak to me respectfully,” she said. “It was not an invitation for him to gratify himself sexually to my discomfort.”

Coonan says she has been inundated with messages from social media trolls, who are suggesting she has to share the blame for her interactions with Patton — especially after giving him her phone number.

However, she defended her conduct and her reasons for speaking out.

“This story is bigger than money, I allowed my experience to be shared in the hopes that other women would feel safer to come forward and speak out,” she told the Daily Mail.

“I want nothing more than to see a change in people’s attitudes and for women to be treated with the respect that they deserve.”

Patton, who only joined Hawthorn from GWS ahead of last season, has deleted his social media accounts with the club confirming an investigation by its integrity committee had begun.

On Sunday night Jacqueline Kearton also alleged she was sent photos and videos via social media by Patton, which she did not want.

Kearton told Channel 7: “He just needs to be made an example of so these young guys who are coming up and looking at these older players think they’d better not do that sort of stuff.

“Unfortunately it’s not something that’s uncommon but it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

Hawthorn’s investigation was based around the allegations of another woman.

“Hawthorn Football Club is aware of allegations made on social media regarding the behaviour of Jonathon Patton,” the statement read. “The allegations are of behaviour that does not reflect the values and standards of Hawthorn Football Club.

“As soon as the club became aware of the allegations it addressed the matter with Patton directly and clearly communicated that any behaviour of this nature would not be tolerated.

“The club takes these allegations seriously and has referred the matter to Hawthorn’s Integrity Committee.

“Hawthorn advocates for equality and respect for everyone and demands this same behaviour from all involved with the club.”

Patton was an inaugural member of the GWS Giants side after being the first overall selection in the 2011 AFL National draft.

Injuries, including three knee reconstructions, restricted him to just 89 games over eight seasons but he snared 130 goals before being traded to the Hawks for the 2020 season for a future fourth-round pick.

He played six games for the Hawks in 2020 with three goals.



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Hawthorn AFL player Jonathon Patton stood down over allegations of inappropriate behaviour


The Hawthorn AFL football club has stood down player Jonathon Patton after allegations of inappropriate behaviour on social media, including sending sexual images to woman.

Several women have come forward to accuse him of sending unsolicited lewd messages.

“Hawthorn Football Club has stood down Jonathon Patton from all club commitments until the completion of its investigation into allegations of Patton’s inappropriate behaviour on social media,” the club said in a statement last night.

“The club’s Integrity Committee met this afternoon and will continue to ascertain all relevant information.

“The club will provide a further update at the completion of the investigation and asks that the privacy of all parties involved be respected at this time.”

Patton did not attend training with the club on Monday.

Hawthorn released a statement on Saturday saying the alleged behaviour “does not reflect the values and standards of Hawthorn Football Club”.

“As soon as the club became aware of the allegations it addressed the matter with Patton directly and clearly communicated that any behaviour of this nature would not be tolerated,” the statement said.

The ABC has attempted to contact Patton for comment.

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AFL 2021: Jon Patton lewd messages, Hawthorn Hawks, allegations by women, Facetime, no shows training, latest news


Hawthorn has stood down Jon Patton from all club commitments as their investigation into allegations he sent unsolicited lewd messages to women on social media continues.

Patton did not appear at training on Monday as more women came forward alleging he had sent them lewd messages, pictures and videos dating back to 2017.

“Hawthorn Football Club has stood down Jonathon Patton from all club commitments until the completion of its investigation into allegations of Patton’s inappropriate behaviour on social media,” the Hawks said in a statement.

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Round 1

“The club’s Integrity Committee met this afternoon and will continue to ascertain all relevant information.”

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Gutsy India Defy Australia In Thrilling Test Match Marred By Allegations Of Racism


For whatever reason – home dominance, flat pitches, overwhelmed touring teams – there unfortunately haven’t been many thrilling Test matches in Australia over decades.

Heading into the final day of the third Test between Australia and India was actually the first time a Test had gone the distance Down Under in two years. There has been a slew of lopsided matches in that period.

Not that beforehand was much better with the 12 previous Tests (2016-19) going the full five days mostly being prolonged because of excruciatingly flat pitches, which overwhelmingly favored batting.

There have only been a handful of truly memorable Tests in the past two decades. Add this Sydney Test match to the shortlist. A battered and bruised India – both physically and mentally – defied Australia’s brilliant attack to bat their longest in the fourth innings of a Test since 1979.

No Test match in Australia had gone down to the wire since Faf du Plessis famously stonewalled Australia’s attack in 2012 to conjure one of South Africa’s greatest innings. In one of the most extraordinary rear-guard partnerships, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin similarly defied the odds in a gutsy partnership to bat through the entirety of the final session to secure a draw.

India batted an astounding 131 overs all up to finish at 334 for 5 chasing a mammoth 407.

India had long given up hope of winning the Test but defiantly holding off Australia was remarkable. The stodgy defense contrasted with the opening session which will be fondly remembered for dynamo Rishabh Pant’s audacious pyrotechnics show.

The diminutive wicketkeeper is mainly picked because of his batting expertise and Pant’s selection has stirred controversy, particularly with traditionalists adamant that the best gloveman should be an automatic inclusion.

Pant had been criticized for his sloppy ‘keeping and fairly rash batting. But promoted to No.5 and still showing the effects of an elbow injury, Pant played a blinder of an innings that turned the Test on its head. He proved that he’s worthy in the team as a specialist batsman.

Before the fireworks, Pant played against type and blunted the attack after the key early wicket of captain Ajinkya Rahane. The left-hander resisted Australia’s star-studded bowlers maturely, knowing he had to support mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara.

A big partnership between the two contrasting batsmen realistically loomed as India’s only hope of an unlikely victory.  

The youthful Pant was undaunted and he counterattacked in fashion uncommon – but nonetheless breathtaking – on a fifth day pitch, which surprisingly was benign. After having a prolonged sighter, Pant’s innate attacking instincts took over as he started to dominate in fashion reminiscent of Brian Lara’s famous SCG gem. In fact, he seemed to shift into Twenty20 mode by smashing veteran spinner Nathan Lyon out of the attack.

At one point during a whirlwind first session, Pant cracked two straight effortless sixes off Lyon to provide a flicker for India’s faint hopes. The partnership built swiftly past 100 and the duo made it to lunch to setup a pivotal second session.

Pant continued on his merry way and treated the Australian bowling with disdain even though he survived several nervy moments. On the cusp of a brilliant century, Pant’s cavalier approach proved his undoing on 97 as he unwisely attempted to whack Lyon for another boundary with the milestone flashing in his sights.

His dismissal was at a particularly inopportune moment with the second new ball just around the corner. Pant had the ability to power through the new ball and score runs quickly. If he – and Pujara – were still at the crease with under 100 runs to get then it would have been a very nervous Australia in the field.

Pujara fell later in the session to a pearler of a delivery from Josh Hazlewood and that appeared to be the game. Then something incredible happened that makes you fall back in love with this baffling sport. Vihari and Ashwin started seeing out overs even through ferocious short-pitched bowling where they copped vicious deliveries on the body. They also somehow thwarted Lyon’s menacing spin.

The overs started dwindling. Suddenly it was under 20 remaining. Then it was into the final nerve-jangling hour. The slow burn and excruciating tension makes Test cricket so irresistible in these moments. It doesn’t happen often – too infrequently in Australia, certainly – but when it does there is no more gripping sports spectacle.  

India’s fight and pride were once again on display. Already missing captain and best batsman Virat Kohli, a wounded India lost star allrounder Ravindra Jadeja to injury. In a further blow, out-of-form Vihari injured his hamstring running between the wickets in the second session and noticeably struggled to move properly at the crease.

India fought gamely to the end and again proved their competitiveness in the difficult terrain of Australia, which has sunk most touring teams over the years. Bar their calamity in 2011-12 through a wheezing, over the hill team, India have been superb tourists Down Under for almost two decades.

It all makes allegations of racist abuse directed at the Indian team from sections of the crowd on day 3 and 4 so disappointing.  Six people were ejected and play halted for nearly 10 minutes on day 4 after India’s young quick Mohammed Siraj, who had been fielding near the boundary and close to rowdy spectators, made a complaint. It is highly unusual for play to stop for that long during a cricket match. Something major was awry.

The International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia and local police are investigating the incidents.  

There were reports in the Australian press that the alleged abuse on Day 4 wasn’t racist but Indian media citing sources within the Indian governing body say Siraj and Bumrah were subjected to abhorrent slurs.  

Whatever the case, the Indian camp are aggrieved and it is a crying shame after the magnificent cricket they’ve produced in these grim pandemic times. Fans should be especially grateful, particularly to the brilliant Bumrah whose eclectic skills are a treasure and, so too, the youthful exuberance of Siraj who missed the funeral of his father while on this tour.

This Indian team deserve far better. But perhaps justice was served on-field. For the second consecutive Test, India produced an all-time performance. This is a gritty and great team.

They deserve everyone’s total respect.

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Allegations of abuse towards Indian cricketers at SCG is Australia’s embarrassment


Remember Gladstone Small? Most Australian cricket fans over the age of 40 still do.

Small would probably prefer that it was because of his brilliant fast bowling. But his unusually short neck is the first thing most would recall.

Small’s jerky, idiosyncratic bowling action was one of the most frequently mimicked through his heyday of the mid-1980s and early ’90s.

At the time, there was a musical comedy troupe called The Music Men. Their songs were barely songs, really — more like football terrace chants.

Their hit was called What Can You Play?, a series of imitations that played well on variety shows like Hey Hey it’s Saturday. It had a Gladstone Small bit that always brought the house down. It was a bit of harmless fun.

Barbados-born Gladstone Small played 17 Tests for England, seven against Australia.(Supplied)

The Boxing Day Test of 1986 was when Small really made his name.

It was his third red-ball appearance for England and his first in Australia. By the end, most wondered why the tourists hadn’t picked him earlier in the series.

He promptly destroyed Australia’s first innings with five wickets, setting England on the path to victory.

The night of that electric performance, Small took his fiancee to a Melbourne restaurant and was amazed: as he walked in, every head in the room turned and he was soon receiving a standing ovation from all present.

Maybe Australians weren’t so bad after all, he told his colleagues.

That game ended quickly. Small took another couple of wickets, made some handy tail-end runs and took the catch that clinched the Ashes for England.

Later, some would ponder a statistic, maybe just a coincidence — after Norman Cowans’ demolition of Australia in 1982-83, it was the second in as many Melbourne Ashes Tests to be settled by a West Indian-born Englishman.

A section of the MCG crowd showed its appreciation of Gladstone Small’s performances by throwing bananas at him.

They treated him like an animal. Not for the first or last time, a visiting black player was peppered with racist abuse.

This, Small must have thought, was far closer to the Australia that black players of the era had been told to expect.

What exactly are they to expect now?

Two Indian players in cricket whites talk while walking on the field.
Jasprit Bumrah, left, and Mohammed Siraj made allegations of racist abuse at the end of day three.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

On Saturday, there was a great commotion outside the SCG changerooms when it became apparent that Indian cricketers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah claimed they’d been racially abused by members of the crowd.

Not many professional athletes fabricate incidents of racist abuse. Especially not in Australia, where the stories of Adam Goodes, Heritier Lumumba, Robert Muir and countless others show us what happens to those who dare complain.

On Sunday, Siraj did something as brave as any of them: hearing verbal abuse again as he fielded on the boundary shortly before tea, he moved to the middle of the ground and reported it.

Although both players said that Saturday’s abuse was racist, the precise nature of Sunday’s incident remains under investigation by Cricket Australia.

What is clear is that Siraj felt ridiculed and wouldn’t stand for it.

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The Indian players pointed out where the abuse was coming from.

The game stopped until a small cohort of Australian fans were led away by police, their removal all the more visible for the ground’s reduced capacity.

It is doubly regrettable that the targets of these volleys are men who have provided fans with so many reasons for cheer.

Bumrah has bowled as brilliantly in this series as any visiting paceman in recent memory, providing hours of compelling and joyful cricket. He delights us not just with his distinctive approach and whippy action, but the perma-smile that reminds us cricket is just a game.

Jasprit Bumrah smiles with both hands raised above his head
Jasprit Bumrah’s smile has been ever-present this series, whether he is taking wickets or not.(AP: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

Earlier on Sunday, two simple catches were dropped off his bowling, making ever more certain the likelihood of an Indian loss. Bumrah’s response was to smile again.

Siraj’s case is just as galling. Even in his second Test, it would be condescending to call him the more vulnerable of the pair, but to play in this game he has made immense sacrifices and shown great courage.

Earlier in the tour, in the middle of the team’s 14-day quarantine period, his father died.

Where many would have been on the first flight home, Siraj stayed, hoping to be of service to his country.

Mohammed Siraj dives onto his stomach to try to stop a ball. Marnus Labuschagne prepares to run
Mohammed Siraj put his heart into this Test match, taking a wicket in each innings.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

At 20, he’d never bowled with anything other than a tennis ball. Six years later, in Melbourne and now in Sydney, his considerable gifts with even the most ragged old ball have been obvious to see.

Patriotism does strange things to us. On Thursday, most Australians woke to the siege on the US Capitol. After a few hours watching the rolling coverage, switching over to the cricket was a relief.

Perhaps, like me, the first images you saw were the two teams lining up for their national anthems.

At some sporting contests, these are a dreary formality. Not when India is in town. Not when Jana Gana Mana is being sung. It moved Mohammed Siraj to a stream of unashamed tears, images beamed around the world.

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There are those who will say that these problems cross all borders, and that you’ll always get a few bad apples. They’ll point to India’s own blemished record, especially on the cricket field. And they’ll be right.

But it’s really beside the point, isn’t it?

The point is that year after year, decade after decade, in their interactions on the field and off it, far too many Australians have been unable to distinguish between national pride and the comfortable expression of abuse. Far too many feel the latter is an entitlement that comes with the price of admission.

Mohammed Siraj’s prideful tears were a reminder that a love of one’s country can lift the spirit.

How embarrassing that a young man who sacrificed so much to represent India for the first time had the misfortune of doing it in a country where a cricketer can receive a standing ovation one day, and a serve of mindless abuse the next.

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India Battle To Save Sydney Test Marred By Crowd Abuse Allegations


India were battling to avoid defeat against Australia after losing two wickets before the close of play Sunday in a third Test marred by allegations of racist abuse from the Sydney crowd.

The hosts declared their second innings at tea on day four at 312 for six, leaving India needing a mammoth 407 to win and they reached 98-2 at stumps, still needing a further 309 runs with the four-match series locked at 1-1.

No team has ever bettered 288 to clinch victory in the fourth innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Australia achieving that mark against South Africa in 2006.





Police went into the crowd to speak to spectators after derogatory remarks were allegedly made to Indian players
 AFP / Saeed KHAN

India’s record run chase started steadily before losing openers Shubman Gill for 31 and Rohit Sharma for 52, leaving their hopes resting on Cheteshwar Pujara, who was nine not out, and captain Ajinkya Rahane, unbeaten on four.

Sharma and Gill lived dangerously against some early torrid bowling by Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

But they settled in during a 71-run stand to begin playing their shots, with the graceful Sharma bringing up an 11th Test 50 before being caught at fine leg hooking a Cummins short ball.

Gill, who has cemented his place in the side after making a debut this series, again looked at home until he nicked a Hazlewood delivery to Tim Paine behind the stumps on 31.



India's Rohit Sharma made fifty as India embarked on the task of scoring 407 runds to win


India’s Rohit Sharma made fifty as India embarked on the task of scoring 407 runds to win
 AFP / DAVID GRAY

“The batsmen will walk in tomorrow believing they can do it,” said veteran Ravi Ashwin. “That belief is very important when you step onto the pitch.

“As a team, we are very hopeful we can put together a good performance,” he added.

Australia’s declaration came after Cameron Green fell on the stroke of tea for an entertaining 84, his maiden Test half-century, with captain Tim Paine unbeaten on 39.



Cameron Green (left) is congratulated by captain Tim Paine after making his maiden Test half-century on the fourth day in Sydney


Cameron Green (left) is congratulated by captain Tim Paine after making his maiden Test half-century on the fourth day in Sydney
 AFP / DAVID GRAY

Steve Smith made 81 and Marnus Labuschagne 73, with Ashwin and Navdeep Saini grabbing two wickets each.

Just before the break there was a near 10-minute interruption to play that saw six fans removed after Mohammed Siraj, fielding on the boundary, complained to the umpire.

It was not clear what was said, but the incident followed India lodging a complaint on Saturday after allegations of racist abuse towards the team by sections of the crowd.

The International Cricket Council launched an investigation with Cricket Australia apologising to India and vowing anyone at fault faced “lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police”.



Australia's Josh Hazlewood (right) celebrates with teammates David Warner  and captain Tim Paine after taking the wicket of India's Shubman Gill


Australia’s Josh Hazlewood (right) celebrates with teammates David Warner and captain Tim Paine after taking the wicket of India’s Shubman Gill
 AFP / Saeed KHAN

“We’ve seen it happen in different parts of the world and I’m really sad to see it happen in Australia,” said Australia coach Justin Langer.

“I think our series so far has been played in such great spirits … it’s shame to see it getting marred by incidents like we’re hearing about today and last night.”

Australia had resumed the day on 103 for two after India were bowled out for 244 in the first innings in reply to Australia’s 338, with Smith on 29 and Labuschagne 47.

Labuschagne survived an appalling dropped catch by Hanuma Vihari on the day’s second ball that left bowler Jasprit Bumrah clutching his face in disbelief.

It was a setback for a side without the spin of allrounder Ravindra Jadeja after he was hit on the left thumb batting on Saturday.

He didn’t take the field with Indian media saying it was dislocated and he would only bat again “if required”, with the injury likely to rule him out of the fourth Test next week.

Rishabh Pant also took a blow to his elbow while batting and was another no-show with Wriddhiman Saha keeping wicket.

However, Pant was expected to bat in the run chase.

Labuschagne brought up back-to-back 50s and looked comfortable until Saini snapped his 103-run partnership with Smith.

Matthew Wade quickly went for four, and it proved slow going for Smith.

But following his first innings 131, he kept his focus to notch another half-century, ably accompanied by Green, until trapped lbw by his nemesis Ashwin.

Green, 21, again showed composure to help solidify his place in the team, bringing up his 50 with a boundary then smacking three huge sixes before being caught off Bumrah as he swung the bat again.



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Crowd abuse allegations at Sydney Test heighten tensions in India squad


Ground operator Venues NSW was working with the ICC and making CCTV footage available after staff stationed on the boundary near the Brewongle Stand were also made aware of reports of abuse.

Members of the touring party were photographed speaking to Cricket Australia interim chief executive Nick Hockley after play on Saturday. But a spokesman for the Indian team could not be contacted on Saturday night.

Venue officials have access to more than 800 security cameras at the ground and because of the COVID-19 regulations put in place by the NSW government they know the name of every spectator who walked through the gates. As a result of crowd restrictions enforced by the government, there was an attendance of 10,075.

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley and head of integrity Sean Carroll with members of the India tour party at the close of play.Credit:Getty

The alleged taunting of Indian players was an ugly end to a third day of the match in which Australia assumed a commanding position in their quest to go 2-1 up with a game to play.

It was also the latest flashpoint of a series that has had no shortage of drama associated with it.

There is still uncertainty about where it will conclude, the Indians having been grumbling behind the scenes for a week about tighter restrictions on their movements in Brisbane.

While the Australian and Indian teams are due to travel north on a chartered flight on Tuesday, CA executives may not feel comfortable until the plane is off the tarmac.

While CA sources say senior office bearers at the BCCI have expressed support for heading to Brisbane after being reassured players would be let out of their hotel rooms and be able to mingle with teammates, there have been reports all throughout the week of Indian unwillingness to go to the Gabba.

The fact Brisbane has been forced into a three-day lockdown because of the discovery of a quarantine hotel cleaner with the contagious UK strain of the virus may not help the situation.

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