Lumumba lifts lid on ‘arrogant’ Collingwood talks

Former Collingwood star Heritier Lumumba has accused the Magpies of “arrogance and incompetence” over the club’s handling of the explosive Do Better report.

The report, which was handed down in early 2021, revealed systemic racism at the Magpies and prompted Eddie McGuire’s resignation as club president.

Lumumba, who played 199 games for Collingwood from 2005-2014, has been a vocal critic of the club, and recently announced he was ending all negotiations with the club, saying the Magpies hadn’t changed in the 15 months since the report was released .

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“Since the ‘Do Better’ report was made public in January of 2021, the CFC has failed to engage the former players that were affected by the most severe aspects of the systemic racism rife at the club,” Lumumba tweeted.

“In dealings with the club’s executive leadership (past and present) and their legal team over the past 15 months, there has been a series of problematic episodes of ignorance, arrogance and incompetence, as well as a continued abuse of power.

“Senior CFC figures made several representations that were not fulfilled and behaved in ways that were unacceptable.”

The 35-year-old said the Magpies’ leadership had failed to back up its words with the appropriate action.

“Early on, some senior figures at the club expressed their apparent disgust with Eddie McGuire’s comments at the initial Do Better Report press conference,” he wrote.

“They committed to holding a new public press conference to distance the club from these comments. It never happened.

“The general tone of some senior CFC figures, particularly its legal team, has been disrespectful, combative and resistant to change.”

Lumumba accused Collingwood’s legal representatives of being “disrespectful and culturally ignorant” at a meeting designed to establish a path towards reconciliation.

“Following this meeting, CFC not only failed to properly acknowledge their behavior, but also insisted on pursuing its own version of a truth-telling process while accusing us of being driven by financial motives,” he said.

“It is not lost on me that the same legal team that once attempted to suppress the release of the Do Better Report has now essentially scuttled any possibility of a meaningful reconciliation process.

“Furthermore, I have sufficient reason to believe the club has not been timely or fully transparent with the expert panel about these dealings. It is impossible to know just how truthful CFC has been concerning the recent review regarding the Do Better report.”

The 2010 premiership winner said the Magpies had “not even made the bare minimum effort” to reach out to any of the players named in the report as victims of racism.

“Based on this recent history with the club, it is clear that the club is incapable of acting in good faith and cannot be trusted to pursue genuine reconciliation with its past,” he continued.

“This is why I made the decision to withdraw from any discussions with the club, and refuse to be a participant in its so-called truth-telling process. I will now seek a different way to deal with the burden of the truth I have carried for far too long.”

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