Lumumba has hit out at Collingwood once again.
Lumumba has hit out at Collingwood once again.

Teammates support explosive allegation against Collingwood

FORMER Collingwood star Heritier Lumumba wants nothing to do with the club's proposed "integrity" process.

The 199-game player for the Pies claims he was subject to racism during his time in the black and white, and former teammates Chris Dawes and Brent Macaffer are the latest players to back up Lumumba's explosive allegation he was nicknamed "chimp".

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Brazilian-born Lumumba demanded an apology from his former club, saying he believed there was a "culture of racist jokes" at Collingwood.

In his original Facebook post, earlier in June, he singled out Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley along with president Eddie McGuire.

In the wake of Lumumba's latest accusations Collingwood has pledged to launch an investigation.

Club director Peter Murphy is chairing the committee, and chief executive Mark Anderson is also part of the inquiry.

Buckley has reached out to Lumumba but hasn't heard back from the ex-defender. The club says it will continue to attempt to make contact in the hope Lumumba will assist the committee in better understanding his experience.

But Lumumba says he has no intention of being a part of the investigation, accusing Collingwood of "covering up" his story for years.

McGuire and Lumumba.
McGuire and Lumumba.

Speaking to SBS's The Feed, former Collingwood players Brent Macaffer and Chris Dawes both said they had heard Lumumba referred to as "chimp".

"The nickname 'the chimp' and stuff like that which absolutely I remember clearly like that was (Lumumba's) nickname from whenever I got to the football club in 2006," Macaffer said.

In a lengthy Twitter spiel today, Lumumba claimed Buckley had "misled the public" when he said he didn't know about racism within the club.

"My former teammate Brent Macaffer confirms that I requested a club-wide meeting with my teammates and senior coaches, including Nathan Buckley, to address the culture of racist jokes at the club, and in particular the nickname 'chimp'," Lumumba wrote.

"As I have previously stated, I also went through an 8-hour mediation with Buckley to explain why this nickname was so offensive and hurtful. Does he still stand by his claim that he 'didn't hear it'?

"What does Collingwood have to say now that it has been revealed that one of its most senior figures deliberately misled the public about racism at the club? It is simply too late for them to drag this issue out of the public domain and back behind closed doors.

"Collingwood's suggestion that it will 'investigate' itself after actively denying my story for 6 years is frankly insulting. Senior people in the club have known the truth this whole time and chose a cover-up over transparency.

"I have no desire to convince Collingwood of a truth that they already know. Given the club's inability to come clean, and the way it has attempted to publicly and privately attack my reputation, I cannot accept that this 'integrity' process has been proposed in good faith.

"My claims have been consistent. Instead of simply acknowledging them, Collingwood chose to engage in deceptive and misleading conduct, unnecessarily dragging its fans and members through a scandal which will leave an unfortunate mark on the club's history.

"The lack of action or comment from top AFL officials remains baffling. At a moment where the world is experiencing a moment of global reckoning about racism, now is the time for leadership - not silence."

Lumumba back in his playing days.
Lumumba back in his playing days.

According to Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson, Buckley still maintains he never heard Lumumba referred to as "chimp".

"The only mouth I have heard that nickname out of was Heritier's himself when he told me about it, that is categoric," Buckley told reporters on Wednesday.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the club needed to "find a solution" to help combat racism in the AFL.

"Heritier Lumumba was a valued member of the Collingwood Football Club, and remains to this day," McGuire said on Footy Classified earlier this month.

"I continually try to reach out to Heritier. In fact, earlier this year I was in Los Angeles and tried to find him, because I want to bring him home to give him a life membership at the Collingwood Football Club.

"I'm going to try again to reach out.

"We're all about trying to get a solution; we're not defending ourselves.

"I'm really proud of what we do at Collingwood and what we do with our Indigenous programs. We have great leadership from Travis Varcoe.

"If Heritier is still obviously feeling the pain, well reach out. We want to find a solution."

 

Originally published as Teammates support explosive allegation



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