Heritier Lumumba – who played in Collingwood’s 2010 premiership – says an image of men ejaculating onto a woman’s face was once used to illustrate a game-day strategy in front of the entire playing list.
The revelation headlines a stunning attack against his former club, mostly centred around Nathan Buckley and Eddie McGuire, published in The Herald Sun on Monday.
Lumumba was traded at the end of 2014 and over the last 14 months, the club has been attempting to reconcile the former player’s differences. But it appears as though any hopes of a truce have now evaporated with these damning allegations.
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Heritier Lumumba’s claims include the following:
- An unnamed assistant coach showed a photo of about five or more men ejaculating on the face of a woman to emphasise the common defensive tactic of ‘come forward’ (“Nathan Buckley was the head coach and he seemed unfazed by it all,” says Lumumba).
- The same assistant coach made a homophobic slur in a team meeting, forcing Lumumba to storm out.
- A year earlier, Heritier Lumumba revealed there was an eight-hour mediation with Buckley following McGuire’s King Kong comments on Triple M radio. Following the marathon discussion, Buckley removed Lumumba from the leadership group for being too sensitive, selfish, and going “rogue” by criticising the club’s long-standing president (“[Buckley] was instrumental in punishing and pushing a black player out of the club for speaking out about racism.”).
- Suggestions a drunk Gary Pert – then Collingwood chief executive, current boss at Melbourne Football Club – made comments in front of players’ wives and partners referencing their sex lives. Pert disputes Lumumba’s version of events and eventually apologised.
- The use of the nickname “Chimp” and whether Buckley and others were aware players were referring to Heritier Lumumba in such a way. In 2017, Buckley countered he’d never heard “Chimp” used at the club while Lumumba has consistently maintained it was.
Nathan Buckley – who was sacked midway through the 2021 season – responded in his regular slot with SEN radio a few hours later.
“I’m not going to be drawn into detail and I’m not going to say that Heritier’s right here, wrong here because that is his perspective of the truth,” Buckley told SEN Breakfast.
“But there are other versions of the truth that are a long way away from the way that he perceives it.”
“Mine is very different from what he presents, but the context becomes important and the whole idea of the process is to have open dialogue, respectful dialogue so that you can actually move forward in a positive way.”
“It seems that Heritier doesn’t really want to move forward unless, I don’t know, heads need to roll. I don’t know exactly what he’s looking for or what his requirements are to feel like he has been heard.”
“He has been apologised to – I’ve apologised to him; the club has apologised to him… for the environment that he’s been in – and not just Heritier Lumumba – but the other Indigenous players that have come through.”