Former AFL player Héritier Lumumba has defended his decision to release audio of conversations he says he had with people at Collingwood, including former coach Nathan Buckley, in 2014.
- Former AFL player Héritier Lumumba says he has “countless hours” of recordings of discussions with Collingwood officials
- He has released audio of former coach Nathan Buckley saying Lumumba had thrown then-president Eddie McGuire “under a bus”
- Lumumba and two other ex-players recently ended communications with Collingwood
Speaking on ABC’s News Breakfast, Lumumba renewed his criticism of his former club, accusing it of “a continuation of misconduct, a continuation of dishonesty” in its handling of racism.
On Tuesday, Lumumba posted to social media audio recordings of past conversations with Collingwood figures including Buckley.
One in particular followed the furore over former club president Eddie McGuire’s comments on radio that Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes should be used to publicise the musical King Kong. Lumumba had spoken publicly, condemning what McGuire had said.
Lumumba responds: “I didn’t throw him under and we can’t go through that again. I have gone through this whole year, and this is part of my issue because you still believe that and that’s what hurts me so much, Bucks .”
Buckley replies: “You’ve become a bit of a rogue. And you might call it ‘leadership’ but you have basically gone on your own, not tangents, but on your own crusades at times.”
Speaking to the ABC on Wednesday, Lumumba said he had been shocked by McGuire’s comments and had gone to the club to ask if he could speak.
“They gave me the green light to do so and after that I found out very quickly that I made the wrong comments, according to them,” he said.
Lumumba said Buckley’s accusation that he had thrown McGuire under a bus was an “extremely hard or difficult thing to hear.”
He spoke about his reasons for releasing the audio.
Last month, Lumumba, Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer announced they had terminated all communications with the Collingwood Football Club.
The former teammates had been in 15 months of dialogue with the club to address a string of racist incidents documented in the Do Better report published in 2021, which found the AFL club had been guilty of systemic racism.
Asked if he thought Collingwood was making serious inroads into racism, he said:
“For me, I remain sceptical of any statements that the Collingwood football club puts out.”