Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he’s disappointed Brian Lake was named by a handful of media outlets as the player who allegedly sledged Mitch Clark about his battle with depression.
Cats captain Joel Selwood revealed to the Nine Network on Thursday night that he had been made aware of inappropriate comments directed at Clark.
“I have had a discussion with him since the game; there was things brought up about it,” Selwood said.
“But we’ve had discussions before with Mitch and we understand this might be a possibility.”
Clark and Geelong refused to identify the player who allegedly wronged him, but a handful of media outlets reported it was Lake.
Clarkson, speaking on Saturday, was keen to move on from the matter.
“They are simply allegations. There’s been no investigation by either the league or Geelong, so we’re better off leaving it at that,” Clarkson said.
But the three-time premiership coach added he felt for 2013 Norm Smith medallist Lake.
“I am disappointed for Lakey. It’s a bit difficult to clear your name when it’s already been put out there,” he said.
“I know through speaking with him and our other players that he said nothing of the sort.
“So to have his name smeared by people who just allege that he said something makes it more difficult.”
Clark, who took 12 months out of the game because of clinical depression, also lashed out at media outlets.
“Reports are completely false. Never named Brian Lake,” Clark tweeted on Saturday.
“Story blown way out of proportion and I wanna just get on with the footy.”
Meanwhile, Hawthorn will be without defender Josh Gibson on Sunday when they face Essendon at the MCG.
The reigning premiers revealed on Saturday Taylor Duryea would take Gibson’s place in the side, listing ‘general soreness’ as the reason for his scratching.