MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 05: Scott Pendlebury of the Magpies looks dejected after defeat during the round 16 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 05, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has spoken publicly over the club’s systematic racism saga following the release of the ‘Do Better’ report.

The damning review of the club has left the Magpies embroiled in the racism scandal, with the pressure mounting on president Eddie McGuire and the club.

Collingwood footballers and netballers released a statement earlier this week in an apology to those who have been marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race”.

Speaking to 7 News, Pendlebury said the players felt a stand had to be made whilst acknowledging the club must look to improve.

“We have a voice and obviously the ‘Do Better’ report was fairly damning. We need to speak on behalf of the athletes at this football club,” he said.

“All the players put our heads together. It took a while to get out what we wanted to say – the more we sat on it the more things that came out.

“So far the response has been fairly overwhelming but we’ve also spoken about the fact that there’s a lot of work to go. It’s not just the letter goes out (and we’re done).

“We’ve got a lot of things we have to put in place – the 18 recommendations that we can do as a football club to get better. As players and athletes we’re keen to see how that plays out and what role we need to play in that to make sure this club is a better club moving forward.”

Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba took to Twitter to respond to the players’ apology.

When questioned on the comments of his former teammate, Pendlebury looked to avoid including Lumumba into any further discussions.

“As players we put this letter together, we felt like we had a voice, we needed to have a voice,” Pendlebury told 7NEWS.

“It’s bigger than individuals and I don’t want to get caught in individual battles because that doesn’t play out well for anyone.”