Heritier Lumumba broke his silence as a result of Collingwood external review reveals culture of systemic racism at the club.
Lumumba, who claimed to have dealt with racism in Collingwood for the past seven years, aimed club president Eddie McGuire on his response to the results of a series of tweets.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Lumumba said it was “painful” to watch the club’s press conference in response to the “Do Better Report” findings.
“Eddie McGuire’s inability to let go of his self-constructed illusion serves neither the club, nor the code, nor the community. It’s a shame his last year seems to be marked by another scandal of self-inflicted racism, ”Lumumba wrote.
“The report makes it clear that during Eddie’s tenure as CFC president, the club’s racism caused ‘deep and lasting harm’ to many individuals, families and communities.
“It was disturbing how easily Eddie and the CFC board members reduced the severity of this ‘deep and lasting harm’ to mere ‘mishaps’ – as if they were talking about spilling tea on a couch. rather than being convicted of years of systemic racism. “
The 33-year-old took legal action against Collingwood and the AFL last October, claiming the two organizations failed to provide him with a safe working environment.
Lumumba’s attorney, Rhea Dhillon, said the future of the court proceedings will be determined by Collingwood and the AFL’s actions after the report.
“It’s a nice defining moment, not only for the club but for the AFL,” said Dhillon News Corp Australia.
“Now, with all of this out in the open, suffice it to say that it fully supports our client’s claims. He has been saying these things for the past seven years and he feels fairly justified by the report’s findings.
“We were waiting and seeing what the report would be and now we are waiting to see what their response will be. This could alleviate the need for legal action or we may still have to consider our options, depending on the way forward (Collingwood) offers to take. “
While Collingwood’s “ Do Better ” report exposed systemic racism at the club, Lumumba’s specific claims were not addressed due to his refusal to participate in the review.
One of Lumumba’s claims was that he had been referred to by the racist nickname “chimpanzee” while at the club.
“The allegations made in Collingwood by former player Heritier Lumumba have not been addressed by distinguished professor Larissa Behrendt and her team, the authors of the CFC Do Better report,” a club statement read.
“Without Heritier’s cooperation, they felt that his claims could not be fully explored or tested.”
The AFL also released a statement in response to findings in Collingwood’s “ Do Better Report, ” with the league reviewing the results.
“The AFL received the report today, and we will now formally review the information and recommendations and also consider what else we can and should do as a governing body,” said the CEO of the AFL. ‘AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in statement.
“By commissioning an independent report, Collingwood Football Club recognized that it needed to take a different approach, a stronger leadership in its anti-racism processes and made sure to recognize the seriousness of racism.
“The mistakes of the past show that racism in any form or at any level is a serious problem and should not be interpreted in any other way. This report is an important step in the change Collingwood is implementing and demonstrates how seriously the club is taking the issue. “