‘The million-dollar question’ raised by leaked tapes

Nine AFL host Tony Jones says he’s struggling to determine what the “end game” is for Heritier Lumumba after the former Magpie leaked audio recordings of a private conversation he had with then coach Nathan Buckley.

Lumumba, who in recent years has spoken out on incidents of racism he endured during his time at Collingwood, took to Twitter on Tuesday to release two 2014 recordings of a meeting between himself and Buckley.

The audio presents an exchange in which Lumumba brings up his public comments condemning then club president Eddie McGuire in the midst of the racism scandal ignited by McGuire’s on-air comments about Adam Goodes on his Triple M breakfast radio show.

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Buckley can be heard telling Lumumba he had “gone rogue” and “thrown (McGuire) under the bus”.

“Here you can hear me telling Buckley how I was ostracized for speaking out about Eddie McGuire’s racist comments about Adam Goodes,” Lumumba wrote in a tweet that was accompanied by a leaked recording.

In the aftermath of those tweeted recordings, Buckley responded, asking for Lumumba to show the full context.

Heritier Lumumba leaks explosive Nathan Buckley audio

“I offer you the opportunity to put a full and uncut version of our conversations on the public record so as to provide context to our conversations and the support that was provided to you above and beyond that which could be reasonably expected in the circumstances,” Buckley wrote.

Speaking on ABC Breakfast on Wednesday morning, Lumumba hit back at Buckley’s response, saying: “I have not released the full versions because it would be countless hours and what I would say to Nathan Buckley is that this is not a football match. I stopped taking orders from Nathan Buckley a very long time ago. So I will share my truth as I see fit.”

The latest twist left Jones scratching his head, unsure of whether a resolution will ever be found between Lumumba and the Magpies.

“How it’s going to end is the million-dollar question, I don’t know what the end game is here,” Jones said on Nine’s Today.

“Collingwood is going all out to try and offer an opportunity for mediation, but Heritier Lumumba has gone on the public record and basically said he doesn’t trust the club to carry out that in a full matter.

“I’m not entirely sure where it goes from here other than this ongoing verbal volleying, whether it be social media or the media platforms that Nathan Buckley has this high profile, being radio and paid TV.

“Heritier Lumumba of course has social media platforms and only has to drop the odd tweet or two and it becomes massive news… even though this has been going on for some time, the release of those secret recordings took it to a whole new level.

“I think Nathan Buckley would’ve been blindsided by the release of these audio recordings and maybe thinking to himself, what else was recorded?

“He’s gone on the front foot with those tweets of his own… we await now to see what Heritier Lumumba’s next move will be.”

Jones added that Collingwood was continuing to explore the possibility of reopening dialogue directly with Lumumba.

“I had a brief exchange with the new president Jeff Browne yesterday and they’re looking into it and trying to find ways,” Jones said.

“If there is to be some sort of litigation and monetary compensation for not only Heritier Lumumba, but other indigenous players, because of the way the club was perceived to have treated their indigenous players then that would be on the shoulders of the current board and the Collingwood Football Club as it stands now.”

Earlier this week, more shocking claims were brought forward by Lumumba when he alleged that an assistant coach showed players a pornographic image in a team meeting.

Veteran AFL reporter Caroline Wilson on Monday night confirmed Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson was investigating that specific claim made by Lumumba, as well as his other claims detailed in a Herald Sun report.

“The other problem of course for the club today is the allegation released by Heritier that an assistant coach in 2014 used pornographic material to try and motivate the players,” Jones added.

“We’re talking 2014, we’re not talking 1974 here. That’s something the club will have to get on top of.

“It’s highly unlikely that assistant coach will actually still be at the club and as it stands at the moment, he hasn’t been named.”

Pies to investigate Lumumba’s claims

Lumumba, who played 199 games with Collingwood from 2005 to 2014 has been outspoken in his criticism of the club since finishing his stint there in 2015. He has on many occasions publicly detailed counts of racism he endured during his time at the club.

The accusations he made of systemic racism at Collingwood were vindicated by the ‘Do Better’ report that rocked the club and prompted the resignation of long-time president McGuire last year.

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