Former Collingwood defender Héritier Lumumba has criticised Collingwood Football Club and club president Eddie McGuire for their response to the independent report into racism at the AFL club.
- A report into racism at Collingwood found the AFL club had a culture of systemic racism
- Former Magpies player Héritier Lumumba criticised the club’s response as being deep in ‘delusion and dishonesty’
- Lumumba, who is suing Collingwood for breach of duty of care, says the club is still underplaying the issue of racism
In a series of Twitter posts the 2010 premiership player and All-Australian took aim at the Magpies and McGuire, who claimed that despite the report finding there was systemic racism at the club, it was a “historic and proud day” for the Magpies.
Lumumba, who is suing the club for breaching its duty of care, disagreed and called out McGuire specifically.
“I’m grateful to all the people who have reached out to me in support — including CFC members and supporters — as well as all those who have challenged the Collingwood Football Club’s bizarre response to their own report finding them guilty of systemic racism,” Lumumba tweeted.
“It was painful to watch the club dig itself deeper into delusion and dishonesty at today’s press conference.
On ABC’s Radio National, Lumumba later said he felt the report vindicated the claims he had been making for almost eight years.
“And to see that an independent review has been done, where a report has clearly outlined, extensively outlined that the Collingwood Football Club is guilty of systemic racism, absolutely does back-up all of my claims and also the claims of the countless other people that have had incidents of racism with the Collingwood Football Club,” Lumumba said.
McGuire had said on Monday that the club undertook the report to help make them better.
“We have spent the last six years in a deep dive into how we can make ourselves better, provide leadership and conversation in the community as only Collingwood can,” McGuire said.
“We have decided as a club that this fight against racism and discrimination is where we want to be.
“We make mistakes, we learn, we strive to be better.
It also stated that Collingwood was more likely to react to media coverage of a racist incident, for the purpose of damage control, than to a complaint made from within the club.
Collingwood received the report in December last year but had not made any comment on it until it was leaked by the media on Monday morning.
Chief Executive Mark Anderson said the review commenced “well before” the court process began with Lumumba, who McGuire said had been “encouraged and asked to be a part of the report”.
Lumumba said the Magpies were still underplaying the issue.
“The report clearly states that during Eddie’s tenure as CFC president, the club’s racism resulted in “profound and enduring harm” to many individuals, families, & communities,” he wrote
Lumumba said he would be speaking to media today so he could break down what he said were “lies and deception”.