Hawthorn forward Jonathon Patton has quit the AFL and apologised for his “completely unacceptable” behaviour towards women.
- Several women accused Jonathon Patton of sending them sexually explicit images of himself without consent
- The AFL’s Integrity Unit had been investigating Patton since Hawthorn stood him down in January
- Patton cited injury struggles and a lack of enjoyment in the game, while apologising for his conduct and saying he was “committed to continuing to learn from my mistakes”
Patton was stood down by the Hawks in January when at least four women accused him of sending sexually explicit photos and videos of himself via social media.
On Friday, the number one pick at the 2011 draft announced his retirement from the AFL, effective immediately.
“I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for my inappropriate behaviour towards women,” Patton said in a statement released by Hawthorn.
“Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on my mistakes.
“I am committed to continuing to learn from my mistakes and actively make the necessary changes.”
Soon after being stood down by the Hawks Patton was admitted to hospital, citing mental health concerns.
The club launched an investigation, which was taken over by the AFL’s Integrity Unit.
The AFL released a statement acknowledging Patton’s retirement and his apology to women.
“The AFL Integrity Unit, which was investigating the behaviour … has informed the complainants of Patton’s decision to retire,” an AFL statement said.
Patton was taken with the first selection at the 2011 draft by GWS and played 89 games for the Sydney-based club in a stint marred by having knee reconstruction surgeries three times.
He was traded to Hawthorn at the end of the 2019 season and, still troubled by various injuries, managed only six games for the Hawks.
Hawthorn and Patton released a statement about two hours after coach Alastair Clarkson fronted a media conference where Patton’s decision was not disclosed.
“I have made the difficult decision to retire from football to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game,” Patton said in the statement.
“The constant battle to overcome injuries since I entered the AFL 10 years ago has been relentless and, on many occasions, overwhelming.
“As such, I will not play football at any level this year.”