HAWTHORN skipper Ben Stratton has praised Chad Wingard's self-imposed media ban, saying his teammate's move "takes some balls".
Wingard posted on Twitter earlier this week he wouldn't conduct any media interviews besides those he is contractually obliged to as protests continue across the United States in response to African-American George Floyd's death.
I dont trust our media anymore! Until things change i wont be doing any interviews im not contracted to do! Ill be sharing my own thoughts and content!— chad wingard (@chadwingard20) June 1, 2020
Wingard's call to shun the media in his hope to stamp out worldwide racism has drawn attention across Australia, and his captain lauded his courage.
"Regardless of the issue it probably takes some balls to speak up and stuff like that," Stratton said on Wednesday.
"Probably in a world where everything gets judged and speech gets judged, I reckon it takes some balls and good on him, we're behind him 100 per cent."
Stratton, who shared premierships with former Hawthorn superstars Lance Franklin and Cyril Rioli, and currently lines up next to four-time flag winner Shaun Burgoyne, said the Hawks had been blessed with the Indigenous players to have pulled on the brown and gold.
"All we can do is support him and I think a lot of the boys have supported him on social channels," he said.
"That's all we can do as a club, and we can continue to celebrate what the Indigenous boys have given to this game and to this club.
"We're lucky enough to have had some crackers over the years here and just to have crossed paths with them we're pretty lucky."
Wingard will be alongside Stratton as the Hawks head down to Geelong next Friday night in their round two restart.
The clash is the first time the clubs have met at the Cats' home ground since 2006, but Stratton said the Hawks were taking measures to combat GMHBA Stadium's unique dimensions.
It is the first in a series of challenging contests for the Hawks in their next fixture block, including facing Richmond, North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney.
ROUNDS 2-5 Check out the full fixture
"It's going to be great. I've never played down in Geelong so it will be nice playing at a ground I've never played at. It's obviously a tough first month but it's good to see where we'll be at after that," Stratton said.
"Obviously the oval's a little bit skinnier so we're been marking out the oval and doing those standard things. We had a nice wet training day on Monday so you'd assume down in Geelong you might get some average weather so it's just about preparing for those things mentally."
The Hawks will make a decision on Jaeger O'Meara's availability next week as he overcomes his facial fracture.