Renewed allegations of racism levelled at the Collingwood Football Club by Heritier Lumumba have been referred to the club integrity committee (IC) in an effort to search for the truth in the matters raised.
The IC, established in 2019 and consisting of members of the board and executive, is in the process of seeking external and independent expertise to assist the committee.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and the board made a unanimous decision last week to hand the issues raised by Heritier Lumumba over to the IC.
Collingwood director Peter Murphy is IC chair, with chief executive Mark Anderson also on the IC. Collingwood director Jodie Sizer has been co-opted on to the committee for the purpose of the effort.
As such, Collingwood will continue to reach out to Heritier Lumumba in the hope that he will assist the IC to fully understand his allegations.
“This is a serious issue. As a board we have come together and unanimously agreed we need to take action. The integrity committee has started to map a way forward,” Sizer said.
“From my perspective the whole of Australia is on an important journey as it deals with racism, the impacts of racism and considers what, as a nation, we want to be and are to become.
“Collingwood is also on its own journey and important to both quests is truth telling. Understanding the truth, owning the truth and supporting those in sharing their truths is a key
next step for any action.
“We would like to talk with and listen to Heritier because his truth is a critical part of this.”
While Collingwood has always sought to be guided by values of equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect, in Heritier’s time the club could not fully appreciate the personal impact of his experiences.
Collingwood proudly seeks to encourage and celebrate diversity and difference. A further important objective of the IC’s work is to learn and improve the club’s cultural understanding.
In order for the work of the IC to be conducted with rigour and respect for all who may be involved, Collingwood will not be making further comment until its findings are completed.