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Claims Héritier Lumumba Gave Himself Nickname Backfires: ‘It’s Proof Club Bosses Knew’

The 2007 interview proves Collingwood was aware of Héritier Lumumba’s racist nickname, despite denials from Eddie McGuire and Nathan Buckley.
Héritier Lumumba says a resurfaced AFL player profile which lists 'The Chimp' as his nickname proves Collingwood officials knew about the nickname.
Héritier Lumumba says a resurfaced AFL player profile which lists 'The Chimp' as his nickname proves Collingwood officials knew about the nickname.

Héritier Lumumba says a resurfaced AFL player profile which lists “The Chimp” as his nickname proves Collingwood officials knew about the term, despite constantly denying they’d heard it.

The 2007 pamphlet, that was circulated at games, was tweeted by football identity Sam Newman after the ’Do Better Report’ found “systemic racism” at the Pies. Lumumba first went public with his own experience of racism at Collingwood in 2017 but spoke out on air about former president Eddie McGuire’s slur at Adam Goodes as early as 2013.

Lumumba, who has said many times that he initially went along with the nickname as a means of surviving in a powerhouse club, says the document is damning evidence the name was widely used at the club and that seniors lied about not hearing it. The nickname was used between 2005 and 2013 before Lumumba said the moniker was racist and it stopped.

“Ever since I went public in 2017 with my experience, I’ve been consistent in saying that I initially went along with the nickname & a lot of other racist behaviour in order to fit in,” he tweeted Thursday.

“The document is proof that the nickname did indeed exist and was widely known in the club. Some people are trying to use it as a means to discredit me, without realising that it’s damning evidence that works against CFC and the AFL.

“Player records were printed by the tens of thousands and distributed at games. How many people in leadership approved of this?”

The Herald Sun reports the profile ran three times, once in 2007 and two more times in 2009.

Lumumba said Collingwood management and the PR department “actively tried to discredit” his complaints of racism over the years and that he was ostracised at the club when he spoke out about McGuire’s on-air slur against Adam Goodes.

Magpies coach Nathan Buckley in 2017 denied he knew anything about the name - despite former players confirming they heard the term often at the club.

“I didn’t hear it, I didn’t hear it. This has the capacity to get bigger than it needs to be,” he said at a 2017 press conference.

In June 2020, Buckley said again he wasn’t “aware” of the nickname.

“From my perspective I’ve learned things today, last week, two weeks ago that I was not aware of - from Héritier’s perspective,” he said.

“In regards to the nickname, the only mouth I’ve heard that nickname out of was Héritier’s himself when he told me about it, that’s categoric.”

Buckley’s 2020 comments on Channel 9′s ‘Footy Classified’:

And Buckley’s 2017 comments:

McGuire, who on Tuesday stepped down as president of the Collingwood Football Club following his disastrous comments as he described the release of the report on racism as “an historic and proud day” for the club, is on the record multiple times saying he had never heard the nickname.

“I’ve never heard it (Chimp)... I’m not going to discuss this because we’re doing an investigation,” McGuire told Channel 9’s ’Footy Classified’ last year.

“I know a lot of things that are going on now because I’m hearing things as well.

“I’ve spoken to some people and I’ve found different things, the nuances I had no idea.”

McGuire’s comments at 01:00:

“While the nickname ‘chimp’ was overtly racist, sadly it was far from the worst thing that happened,” Lumumba tweeted on Tuesday.

“Some things that were said and done resulted in verbal and physical altercations. When I began to formally address the club’s racism, I was punished by the club’s leadership.

“The report reveals that there was ‘no systemic process that could support individuals” affected by the cfc’s racism; Also that “there’s a culture of individuals, if not quite being bigger than the Club, then at least having an unhealthy degree of influence over Club culture’.”

McGuire’s resignation comes after a number of prominent First Nations and culturally diverse Australians signed an open letter to Collingwood demanding McGuire step down following the release of the leaked report.

The report found evidence of “systemic racism” within the Magpies that has resulted in “profound and enduring harm to First Nations and African players”.

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