News Review into racism at Collingwood

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TheGreatGrundy

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I'll stick with my views on Hertitier's claims until facts prove different. I never had any reason to question Leon's integrity or honesty but I have long ago formed an opinion about Lumumba and at this stage don't intend to alter it. When Waleed Aly decides he has to publicly apologise for what seemed to me a fair interview with Lumumba, perhaps I will reassess my position. Unfortunately in the current climate I no longer see the case being decided in court. Collingwood is a no win situation where they are guilty until proven innocent, and I think they will unwisely cut their losses and settle privately with Lumumba.
 

sr36

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I'll stick with my views on Hertitier's claims until facts prove different. I never had any reason to question Leon's integrity or honesty but I have long ago formed an opinion about Lumumba and at this stage don't intend to alter it. When Waleed Aly decides he has to publicly apologise for what seemed to me a fair interview with Lumumba, perhaps I will reassess my position. Unfortunately in the current climate I no longer see the case being decided in court. Collingwood is a no win situation where they are guilty until proven innocent, and I think they will unwisely cut their losses and settle privately with Lumumba.
Why do you think it would be unwise.
 

TheGreatGrundy

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Why do you think it would be unwise.
Because with the unsubstantiated, vague and trivial accusations Heritier has thrown at the club over a number of years, I don't think Collingwood can afford to let him win this battle. They are already very much on the backfoot given the negative public attention and opinion they have attracted, and need to show they have no case to answer against Lumumba.
 

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sr36

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Because with the unsubstantiated, vague and trivial accusations Heritier has thrown at the club over a number of years, I don't think Collingwood can afford to let him win this battle. They are already very much on the backfoot given the negative public attention and opinion they have attracted, and need to show they have no case to answer against Lumumba.
The mud is going to stick anyway.

I'll chip in if the settlement involves a gag that moves us away from an angry vindictive voice that isn't looking for understanding and unity and whose claims are automatically believed because of the cause, even if those claims contain little to no support and even if he lacks credibility.
 
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SouthernPie

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Because with the unsubstantiated, vague and trivial accusations Heritier has thrown at the club over a number of years, I don't think Collingwood can afford to let him win this battle. They are already very much on the backfoot given the negative public attention and opinion they have attracted, and need to show they have no case to answer against Lumumba.
The only accusation that I can determine is of a racist nature from Heritier is the one of being called "chimp". On the one hand, there are players who have come forth and said they heard him being addressed with this nickname. On the other hand, there are players and club officials (MM, Buckley and Eddie) who have said they never witnessed this. Even Cameron Cloke came out on FB yesterday and said he considered himself to be a good mate of Heritier's, but had never heard the term being used. There are other players who said Heritier offered up this nickname himself and there's the evidence of the profile in the Footy Record that seems to substantiate this.

Regardless of its origin, Heritier was given the chance to address the senior players when he didn't want the nickname used anymore and he himself said its use ceased after that. Maybe this "process" was far from ideal in that Heritier had to directly stand up for himself, rather than have club officials do it. However, from what I can gather it gave Heritier a chance to explain why his outward acceptance of the nickname had changed and to do some educating of his team mates and he took this opportunity.

Similarly, the club gave him the opportunity to further explain the ignorance associated with racism and educate the footy public when he appeared with Eddie on AFL360 on Fox Footy immediately after the Goodes incident.

The other instances he complains about - believing he had to object to the "Mardi Gras" poster and feeling belittled by Buck's response about Seedman's nickname had more I believe to do with the souring of his personal relationship with Bucks, rather than racism. Heritier himself has said that the statement from Bucks that "he threw the president under the bus" was delivered in his exit interview, not while the Goodes matter was at its height, when Heritier was still a paid "employee" of the club.

If Heritier has any other specific accusations, other than those above, I am not aware of them.

I am certainly no lawyer, but I'm not sure that Heritier could prove beyond a doubt that "[Collingwood] failed to take any or any sufficient steps to provide and maintain a safe working environment, including by protecting the plaintiff from racial abuse or racially offensive conduct". Not unless he has other specific instances he has not yet mentioned.

The words of Leon Davis however are very explicit in describing the racist actions he was subjected to and their aftermath. I feel so so very, very sad for him and furious that he experienced this. If Leon were to take the club to court, he would justifiably win his case I reckon. Lumumba I'm not so sure about - it's all so very murky.
 

sr36

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I am certainly no lawyer, but I'm not sure that Heritier could prove beyond a doubt that "[Collingwood] failed to take any or any sufficient steps to provide and maintain a safe working environment, including by protecting the plaintiff from racial abuse or racially offensive conduct". Not unless he has other specific instances he has not yet mentioned.
I'm no lawyer either, but in terms of the chimp name - even if complicit or more - I reckon he could build a pretty good case of the club not providing necessary training or monitoring and thus an unsafe environment. THough it might be hard for him to demonstrate damages in order to receive a payout.
 

SouthernPie

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I'm no lawyer either, but in terms of the chimp name - even if complicit or more - I reckon he could build a pretty good case of the club not providing necessary training or monitoring and thus an unsafe environment. THough it might be hard for him to demonstrate damages in order to receive a payout.
Yeah, good point about the training and monitoring. Still, the training would've needed to be quite explicit in Heritier's case eg "If someone says it's fine to call them chimp, still don't do it"!! I would think that monitoring will hopefully become a standard practice going forward. Not just for POC, but for all players, to ask them directly and in confidence, on a regular basis, if they feel subjected to discrimination of any kind. This could be part of the Welfare Officer's job description - if such a position still exists? I think McCaffer was doing something along these lines at some point?

Getting awarded damages in the form of any substantial financial payout seems to be really tough to achieve for any employee of any institution. Look at how difficult it was for the Melbourne player (apologies for not immediately recalling his name) to get damages for his demonstrated CTE.
 

sr36

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I would think that monitoring will hopefully become a standard practice going forward. Not just for POC, but for all players, to ask them directly and in confidence, on a regular basis, if they feel subjected to discrimination of any kind. This could be part of the Welfare Officer's job description - if such a position still exists? I think McCaffer was doing something along these lines at some point?
Not sure about the approach you're recommending - not saying that in disagreement, I just don't know, but rather than an ex footy player who is a good bloke, they need a good counsellor. I don't know Macaffer's background, but I expect that he got the welfare gig without having a welfare background and maybe he did a great job at it, but that sort of appointment is part of the problem. As important as having racial experts to help write policies and devise practice, someone with a psychology and mediation background is more important for the policies and practices- not just for racism, not just for other forms of discrimination, for everyone having issues with teammates or struggling emotionally for whatever reason, as it's an emotionally brutal job with intense performance pressures, intense internal competition for spots and no job security - then throw in discrimination and the push through pain attitude that's a necessity within the industry - it's little wonder that so many have issues.
 
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TheGreatGrundy

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The mud is going to stick anyway.

I'll chip in if the settlement involves a gag that moves us away from an angry vindictive voice that isn't looking for understanding and unity and whose claims are automatically believed because of the cause, even if those claims contain little to no support and even if he lacks credibility.
The problem for Collingwood is the unquestioning attitude of the media in reporting the fall out from the report. The Age for instance in one big article contained quotes from various sources on Eddie's comments. Underneath each was the person's name and a brief description of their position and/or relationship to the issue. Lumumba was described as having been the victim of racism. 7'30 Report's Leigh Sales in a segment on Eddie gave Lumumba's quote airtime and said he had been 'called chimp for 7 years', as though this was a proven truth.

Labelling him as a victim of racism assumed in both cases the veracity of the claims - the words 'alleged' or 'unproven' or the context of the nickname's apparent use were not employed to qualify the victim label. There was an assumption in both cases that Heritier was a genuine and proven victim. Plus Heritier became the 'go to' commentator on most TV channels. CFC and the AFL are going to have problems combatting this definitive acceptance of his claims and victim status by prominent media sources.
 
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Pie eyed

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I dont believe they would have.

I have no faith in the Clubs ability or appetite deal with this sort of thing with any empathy whatsoever. It's hard to fathom they are so clueless.
I on the other hand have faith in the club.

Why initiate a review, the outcome of which was a certainty, if you only intended to cover it up?
NO matter the outcome the club could only come out of it looking bad if you cover up.

Only an idiot of the highest order would even begin the review if the result was to be hidden.

The type of Club you think Collingwood is would never have even entertained a review.

The outcome was an absolute certainty, the review was simply to show publicly to the world that the Club was serious about addressing the issue of racism.

Covering it up serves only to prove the exact opposite.

I see your opinion as expressing exactly the type of person you are.

Logic dictates that you are wrong and that your opinion serves your own bias where it comes to the club.
 

jmac70

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I on the other hand have faith in the club.

Why initiate a review, the outcome of which was a certainty, if you only intended to cover it up?
NO matter the outcome the club could only come out of it looking bad if you cover up.

Only an idiot of the highest order would even begin the review if the result was to be hidden.

The type of Club you think Collingwood is would never have even entertained a review.

The outcome was an absolute certainty, the review was simply to show publicly to the world that the Club was serious about addressing the issue of racism.

Covering it up serves only to prove the exact opposite.

I see your opinion as expressing exactly the type of person you are.

Logic dictates that you are wrong and that your opinion serves your own bias where it comes to the club.
I don’t think the club expected all the findings, or at least the severity. There is no doubt the club sat on the findings longer than needed, and were embarrassed by the leak. Ed’s attempt to spin the report as a positive tainted the club’s credibility.

I think we will repair that over time as we implement the recommendations. I still believe an official club apology is warranted.
 

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sr36

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The problem for Collingwood is the unquestioning attitude of the media in reporting the fall out from the report. The Age for instance in one big article contained quotes from various sources on Eddie's comments. Underneath each was the person's name and a brief description of their position and/or relationship to the issue. Lumumba was described as having been the victim of racism. 7'30 Report's Leigh Sales in a segment on Eddie gave Lumumba's quote airtime and said he had been 'called chimp for 7 years', as though this was a proven truth.

Labelling him as a victim of racism assumed in both cases the veracity of the claims - the words 'alleged' or 'unproven' or the context of the nickname's apparent use were not employed to qualify the victim label. There was an assumption in both cases that Heritier was a genuine and proven victim. Plus Heritier became the 'go to' commentator on most TV channels. CFC and the AFL are going to have problems combatting this definitive acceptance of his claims and victim status by prominent media sources.
I agree with you totally. I come across as angry with HL, but I'm not really. I actually feel really sorry for him and do view him as a victim, maybe of racism, but probably not. I view him as a victim of the thousands who fist pump his anger and tell him he's right and that he should remain angry and should keep fighting.

None of us know if he was a victim of racism. The evidence is not obvious, but it does seem obvious that his anger is engulfing him.

So I'm not angry at Heritier, but I am angry at what he's come to symbolise for me. A righteousness where discussion has become irrational and truth has become racialised and people are getting hurt as a result.
 

neilk

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I don’t think the club expected all the findings, or at least the severity. There is no doubt the club sat on the findings longer than needed, and were embarrassed by the leak. Ed’s attempt to spin the report as a positive tainted the club’s credibility.

I think we will repair that over time as we implement the recommendations. I still believe an official club apology is warranted.
So my questions would be who had most to gain from the leaking of the findings and was it an inside job?
 

HeathComeBack

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Yeah, good point about the training and monitoring. Still, the training would've needed to be quite explicit in Heritier's case eg "If someone says it's fine to call them chimp, still don't do it"!! I would think that monitoring will hopefully become a standard practice going forward. Not just for POC, but for all players, to ask them directly and in confidence, on a regular basis, if they feel subjected to discrimination of any kind. This could be part of the Welfare Officer's job description - if such a position still exists? I think McCaffer was doing something along these lines at some point?

Getting awarded damages in the form of any substantial financial payout seems to be really tough to achieve for any employee of any institution. Look at how difficult it was for the Melbourne player (apologies for not immediately recalling his name) to get damages for his demonstrated CTE.
just to clear things up CTE cannot be diagnosed until after someone dies and they autopsy the brain. So it cannot be demonstrated
 

Quicky

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Leon Davis comments

Anyone who hasn't read this should. Davis articulates the issues the club has had with racism with maturity and strength.

It's distressing to read the racism that Davis endured to play for us our club. The way it isolated him. The strength of character to work through it and stand up to it.

It's amazing to think of the career he had in the face of that when it would have been easier to walk away.

I think critically he touches on the importance of acknowledging whats happened with racism at the club. Without that we can't properly heal. In his view we haven't acknowledged this with him. For those in here who argue we have, that it's time to move on, we can't until we do that properly. That makes it an ongoing problem at the club.

Is anyone still burying their head in the sand after reading that?
 

sr36

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It's amazing to think of the career he had in the face of that when it would have been easier to walk away.
It may be reflective of his career. Early days his football wasn't much chop. Its likely that he didn't become a gun when he was feeling the aftermath. Thus emphasising the importance of welfare and pointing to how sh*t our lack of a decent conflict resolution process was, even if the perspective is an empathyless striving for premierships.
 

sr36

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I think critically he touches on the importance of acknowledging whats happened with racism at the club. Without that we can't properly heal. In rhis view we haven't acknowledged this with him. For those in here who argue we have, that it's time to move on, we can't until we do that properly. That makes it an ongoing problem at the club.
I think this is where the club really stuffed up in terms of the response to the review. Eddie butchered his speech, but Jodie Sizer pretty much said the same thing - we're moving forward and going to get better. Neither really went in the direction of the truth telling and reconciliation that the report prescribed.
 

sr36

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So my questions would be who had most to gain from the leaking of the findings and was it an inside job?
My money would be on self interest. Journalists are the only ones who've benefitted from it coming out earlier than it was going to be released. I'd be betting that someone handed it over for some gain or favour from a journalist.
 

Quicky

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I think this is where the club really stuffed up in terms of the response to the review. Eddie butchered his speech, but Jodie Sizer pretty much said the same thing - we're moving forward and going to get better. Neither really went in the direction of the truth telling and reconciliation that the report prescribed.
I agree. It's what we should have started the media conference with. We were caught on the hop and made the same mistakes the report identified and decried. To me it showed a lack of understanding and leadership.

It's interesting but Jodie Sizers message was the same as Eds. Ed was more bombastic about it, Sizer more diplomatic, but at its core it was the same. Sizer showed a similar lack of judgement as Ed and it's why I dont want her as president. I like Murphy and he's my pick but it'd be fair to have the same misgivings given his involvement in the media conference.

A sincere acknowledgement of our failures with the key people is the first thing I want to see in our implementation of the recommendations of the report. That should come sometime this year.
 

mike123

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I think it's been misunderstood as much as misrepresented. We saw the word racism and misted over angrily without understanding or even trying to understand what it meant in the context. Ditto the word chimp. Ditto the word proud.

Edit: actually I think the word proud was intentional misrepresentation.
Had club released the report on their own terms the use of the word proud would slightly warranted but a little self congratulatory, using the word proud after the report was leaked out of their control and they just had the pants pulled down was pissing in every listeners pockets.
 

Quicky

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Had club released the report on their own terms the use of the word proud would slightly warranted but a little self congratulatory, using the word proud after the report was leaked out of their control and they just had the pants pulled down was pissing in every listeners pockets.
It's also very premature to use language like that. Maybe after successfully implementing the recommendations at some future time. Be proud then not when you should be metaphorically rolling up your sleeves to get stuck into a big job ahead of you.
 

sr36

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I agree. It's what we should have started the media conference with. We were caught on the hop and made the same mistakes the report identified and decried. To me it showed a lack of understanding and leadership.

It's interesting but Jodie Sizers message was the same as Eds. Ed was more bombastic about it, Sizer more diplomatic, but at its core it was the same. Sizer showed a similar lack of judgement as Ed and it's why I dont want her as president. I like Murphy and he's my pick but it'd be fair to have the same misgivings given his involvement in the media conference.

A sincere acknowledgement of our failures with the key people is the first thing I want to see in our implementation of the recommendations of the report. That should come sometime this year.
I wouldn't dismiss Sizer for that. She wasn't speaking just on her own behalf, she was speaking as a member of CFC. They had to discuss and agree on how they were going to respond, who knows what she wanted to go with in the pre-press conference discussion. I wouldn't want her to be a leader of the team if she was going to go solo and just voice her own personal views. (Something HL seems to have missed with his assumption that he was criticised for speaking out against race rather than being criticised for speaking out against the agreed party line of standing by Ed)

Sizer delivered the message that they'd obviously agreed upon very well - infinitely better than the current prez - so her performance in the press conference was a tick from me.
 
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