Former Collingwood player Heritier Lumumba has released new secret recordings as he announced his decision to “walk away”.
Former AFL star Heritier Lumumba has posted on Twitter he is walking away from his crusade against Collingwood.
His announcement came just minutes after he released new secret audio recordings of conversations he had with former Magpies coach Nathan Buckley.
Lumumba last week doubled down on criticism of how his old club handled allegations of racism and leaked audio of a meeting with Buckley from 2014, where the Brownlow medallist accuses him of throwing then-club President Eddie McGuire “under the bus”.
The audio leak came after Lumumba leveled a series of new allegations of misconduct at the Magpies, including the use of a pornographic image in a 2014 team meeting by an assistant coach.
The situation exploded again on Wednesday when Lumumba released new audio of conversations with Buckley which he claims shows he was told to leave the football club.
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Lumumba made the new accusations in an extended Twitter thread.
“In response to Nathan Buckley’s claim last week that I had asked to be traded from CFC, I’m providing this recording to make it clear that I was pushed out of the club,” he posted on Twitter.
“They made it clear they had made their decision, & that my only choice was to retire or be traded.
“My former agent, Ben Niall, listened to the full recording straight after the meeting – my mother was also present. He was infuriated after listening & immediately called the club to address it with them. Unfortunately, I didn’t take it any further.
“It was made clear to me that my decision to challenge the Club’s culture would simply not be tolerated.”
In a second recording posted by Lumumba, the footballer is heard saying “I flew off the handle did I? Or did I react to nine years of being in an environment that was disgusting”.
He also posted a statement to announce his decision to “close the chapter” on the accusations he has made towards his former club.
“I’ve been trying to close this chapter since 2017,” he wrote.
“I will always reserve the right to defend myself, especially after working so hard to overcome being systematically slandered and discredited by the Club.
“Now they will now have to bear the burden of what they have tried to deny for all these years, and face the reality that they were unable to rectify things despite every opportunity to do so.”
Lumumba has spoken out repeatedly over an alleged racist culture he says existed at Collingwood during his time with the club. He says there was a culture of “racist jokes” and alleges he was referred to as “Chimp” by teammates.
Lumumba, Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer formally severed ties completely with the club last month over its handling of allegations of racism.
Buckley last week challenged Lumumba immediately after the first series of recordings was posted on social media.
“I offer you the opportunity to put a full and uncut version of our conversations on the public record so as to provide context to our conversations and the support that was provided to you above and beyond that which could be reasonably expected in the circumstances,” Buckley wrote.
Buckley also said last week it appeared Lumumba didn’t want to move forward unless “heads need to roll”.
“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 said on 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 do n’t know exactly what he’s looking for or what his requirements of him are to feel like he has been heard.
“He has been apologised to – I’ve apologised to him; the club has apologized to him … for the environment that he’s been in – and not just Heritier – but the other Indigenous players that have come through.
“I haven’t been perfect as a leader. I haven’t been perfect as a person.
“I consciously thought of this – I put my head on the pillow last night and I slept well because I know that I have owned my imperfections and I’ve owned the things that I’m responsible for.
“My conscience is clear in that regard – it doesn’t mean I’ve been perfect, it doesn’t mean I couldn’t have done things better – but I’m open-minded to continue to learn and I think the club is as well.”
Lumumba in October, 2020, launched legal action against the football club and the AFL over allegations the organizations failed in their duty of care. His lodgement with the Supreme Court has since expired and is now considered dormant.
Originally published as Former Collingwood player Heritier Lumumba releases new secret recordings