Collingwood Magpies Intra-Club & Media Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 01: Heritier Lumumba handballs during a Collingwood Magpies AFL pre-season intra-club match at Olympic Park on February 1, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba has slammed Eddie McGuire’s resignation speech, stating the now-former Magpies president’s exit “was somehow even worse than his last press conference” in a scorching post to Twitter.

Lumumba has been vocal in lambasting McGuire and the Collingwood Football Cub since his retirement from the game, more recently following the release of the “Do Better” report that confirmed the club’s systematic racism culture.

McGuire announced his resignation from the Collingwood presidency on Tuesday, ending a 23-year tenure in the position that was due to finish at the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Following heavy criticism from his stance and retaliation to the 35-page club review, McGuire stated the release of the report led to  a “proud day” for the club, igniting major uproar.

While McGuire’s resignation speech was mostly tailored to thanking the club and the many members of the community that he affiliated with, Lumumba stated via Twitter it was another opportunity missed for the departing president to admit to past and present faults.

“Eddie McGuire’s final speech as CFC president was somehow even worse than his last press conference. Denial, delusion and a complete inability to admit fault,” Lumumba wrote.

“The ‘CFC Do Better’ report was not a ‘response to the Black Lives Matter movement’, as McGuire suggested. CFC themselves announced the review was commissioned “following accounts of racism made by Heritier Lumumba.”

“CFC as an institution is in the same position it was in before Eddie left. There has still been no proper response to the report. Now the club has the further burden of responding to Eddie’s parting comments. Do they accept his assertion that CFC is “not a racist club”?

“CFC is a massive institution. There’s no doubt that a lot of good philanthropic work has happened. But as the report states: “racism at the Club has resulted in profound and enduring harm to First Nations and African players.” One does not erase the other.

“The club cannot simply use Eddie’s departure to say they are moving on without addressing the extra damage he has caused in the last two weeks alone. Let’s not forget the report states that CFC’s racism has “set dangerous norms for the public.”

“Board members have been trying to spin the report publicly, saying it was not about ‘individual instances.’ Part of the report clearly details a timeline of major instances of racism. This needs to stop now.

“Now is the time for transparency, honesty and action”, as the report suggests. Otherwise, the Collingwood brand will simply never recover. Even their own players and sponsors don’t have confidence in it now.

“If CFC thinks they can just wait this out and move on with whatever symbolic racial equality measures they have planned, think again. These measures will never be taken seriously. The people whey appoint to these positions will not be taken seriously.”

Following the release of an old interview in the AFL Record that listed Lumumba’s infamous nickname of ‘Chimp’, the former Magpies premiership player stated he never denied the byname and that the interview only confirmed it’s existence.

“A 2007 player profile that was published by CFC & the AFL has my nickname listed as ‘chimp’. 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,” Lumumba said.

“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.

“The #DoBetter report states that “structural racism occurs not through individual action but through policy, institutional culture, representations in media, laws, conversational norms and normalised behaviours.

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

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