Heritier Lumumba has responded to claims he wasn’t offended by the nickname ‘Chimp’, pointing to the fact he always maintained that he went along with it during his time at Collingwood.In the aftermath of Eddie McGuire’s exit from the club, supporters have come out and defended the fallen ex-president by highlighting an old AFL interview profiling Lumumba during his playing days at the club, which resurfaced online during the week. In it he lists one of his nicknames as “The Chimp”.Critics of the former defender, formerly known as Harry O’Brien, say the profile piece is evidence he wasn’t bothered by the moniker at the time but Lumumba has rejected that suggestion.AFL teammates nicknamed Lumumba “chimp”In a lengthy 15-part response on social media, the former AFL player reconfirmed his position on the matter, stating that he “went along with the nickname and a lot of other racist behaviour in order to fit in” at the club.”A 2007 player profile that was published by CFC & the AFL has my nickname listed as ‘Chimp’,” he said. “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.The AFL profile resurfaced online. (Twitter)”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.Eddie McGuire announces resignation as Collingwood president”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.”Lumumba also criticised McGuire’s resignation speech as “somehow even worse than his last press conference”, in which he described the release of the report as a “day of pride” and claimed the club was not racist.”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’.Collingwood president responds to findings of ‘systemic racism’ at club”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.”If CFC thinks they can just wait this out and move on with whatever symbolic racial equality measures they have planned, think again.”Lumumba played 199 games for the club from 2005-14 and won a premiership on the way to an All-Australian nod in 2010. He made the initial claims in the documentary Fair Game which detailed his life and his experience of racism while playing for Collingwood.He called the culture at Collingwood a “boys’ club for racist and sexist jokes” and has taken legal action against his former team.
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