Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer have returned to the Collingwood Football Club marking a resolution to issues that had been raised following racism which occurred during their respective careers at the Club.

Leon and Andrew recently shared their experiences of racism with representatives from the Club Board with both former Collingwood players committed to being involved in the Club’s Truth-Telling Program – a process to more deeply understand their experiences and the impacts racism has had on their lives to better inform ongoing cultural change at the Club.

Leon has been employed by the Club on a full-time basis to assist with its commitment to building a culturally safe environment for all staff and players and Andrew will be employed to help support this.

Club President Jeff Browne said the Club is grateful to Leon and Andrew for sharing their experiences of racism and its impacts.

“The Collingwood Football Club remains absolutely committed to listening and learning from all players and staff – past and present – to ensure past mistakes are not repeated,” Mr. Browne said.

“Racism is never ok and we will continue to listen and learn from both former players – we apologise for the racism they both suffered – and we look forward to their input which will be invaluable to the Club.

“The hurt racism causes runs deeper than the individuals involved so I want to thank both Leon and Andrew for speaking up about their experiences – it can be incredibly difficult for people who experience racism to share it and speak about it.

“We are extremely grateful to have Leon and Andrew reconnecting and returning to the Club as employees to help continue to embed the cultural learning and practices across all 156 athletes in our Club, our staff and the wider Collingwood community and we look forward to having them commence in those roles immediately.

“As a Club, to go back and reflect on where we got things wrong, and to understand the perspective of the persons who have been impacted, is vitally important.”

Club Chief Executive Officer Mark Anderson thanked Leon and Andrew for their courage after sharing their experiences with the Club.  

“On behalf of everyone at Collingwood, we welcome Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer back at their Club in positions that will impact our Truth-Telling and help make us better,” Mr Anderson said.

“The conversations and discussions with Leon and Andrew will be ongoing and we remain absolutely determined to eliminate racism to create a better, safer, and more respectful environment on and off the football field at all times.

“What’s really important is we learn from our history and one of the learnings from the Do Better Report is we may not be able to fix what someone went through from the past but view it as an opportunity to learn – that is what we are trying to do here.

“As we enter this next phase of embedding the Do Better recommendations across our Club, we are pleased to have Leon and Andrew provide their expertise and cultural insights to the work and programs that have been established.

“We remain absolutely committed to working with other Clubs, and the AFL, to do better.”


Leon Davis said:

“Firstly, I want to pay my respects to my ancestors, my elders and all my First Nations peoples across our country and to the generations before me that laid the foundation for me to continue the fight for our people.

“I have shared that I have experienced instances of racism in my playing days. Unfortunately, these instances weren’t my first as I have experienced racism from a very young age. So too have members of my family and hearing my father’s stories of racism and what he experienced is something that drives me to make change and ensure we all do better.

“This is a community issue, a nation-wide issue and ultimately a world issue and we must do better to stop racism. I am pleased to have a role where I am now encouraged to implement and drive cultural change and know I have the full support of all those at the Club in doing so.

“l want to use my experiences of racism to better educate the community and better equip everyone with the knowledge, tools and education around our country’s true history and why we still face the issues we do in today’s society.

“We have the oldest living culture in the world and I encourage everyone to take it upon themselves to delve into that and to learn more about it.

“I’m pleased to be back.”


Andrew Krakouer said:

“I am looking forward to starting this journey with the Collingwood Football Club.

“I echo Leon’s words and like him, I feel I have a role to play in football and in the wider Australian community to educate people to eradicate and stamp out racism.

“I want my children to grow in an environment where there are no barriers to achieving success. I want my community to be strong and to be proud and I want the game of Australian Football – the game I love – to be welcoming of First Nations people at all times, on and off the field and in the stands.

“I want us to keep striving to be better.”

Leon and Andrew join an existing strong team of First Nations leaders and players at the Club including:


Vice President – Jodie Sizer (Djap Wurrung / Gunditjmara)

Development Coach – Neville Jetta (Balardong / Willman)

Player Wellbeing / VFL Operations Coordinator – Mannon Johnston (Wakka Wakka / Gunai Kurnai)

General Manager Social Impact and Policy – Taryn Lee (Yawuru)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Manager – Debby Lovett (Gunditjmara / Boandik)

Talent ID and Community Ambassador – Daniel Wells (Wangkatha / Wirangu).

AFL players – Ash Johnson (Gija / Jaru / Bunuba), Nathan Kreuger (Noongar / Ngarrindjeri).

VFL players – Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Muruwari / Barkindji), Cam Wild (Wiradjuri)

VFLW players – Rhiannon Busch (Takalaga / Taepadhiggi), Danica Pedersen (Murri) and Nicola Weston (Yorta Yorta / Pama-Nyungan).


About the CFC Do Better Report:

The CFC Do Better Report is an independent review that challenges Collingwood to take a leadership position in Australian sport by confronting racism. It also urges Collingwood to use its past to inform its future and to drive change in our game and, more broadly, our nation. These challenges Collingwood accepts without qualification. The Club has adopted all 18 recommendations in the CFC Do Better Report.

A process of ‘Truth-Telling’ is one recommendation of the Do Better Report and is a constructive step to more deeply understand the experiences of First Nations people and People of Colour, their history and culture, and the impacts of racism.


Leon Davis’ playing journey

Leon Davis is a Whadjuk / Balardong / Yuat / Nadji Nadji / Yamatji / Wilman man who was born in Northam, Western Australia and grew up playing football for Railways in the Avon Football Association. A talented junior, Leon was drafted by Collingwood with the 34th selection in the 1999 AFL National Draft. He made his AFL debut in 2000 and went on to play 225 games (kicking 270 goals) for Collingwood. A champion footballer, Leon is a two-time All Australian (2009, 2011) and was awarded the AFL Goal of the Year Award in 2008.

Andrew Krakouer’s playing journey

Andrew Krakouer is a Mineng / Inggarda man who was born in Western Australia and grew up playing football for South Fremantle in the WAFL. Taken with selection 41 in the 2000 AFL National Draft, Andrew went on to play a total of 137 games, kicking 152 goals for Richmond (102 games, 102 goals) and Collingwood (35 games, 50 goals), respectively. A crafty player, Andrew was also awarded the AFL Mark of the Year Award in 2011.