Collingwood premiership player Heritier Lumumba has called on his former club and the AFL to publicly acknowledge the racism he says he was subjected to during his playing career.
The 33-year-old took to social media on Tuesday to detail his experiences during 10 years at the Magpies – which he said were inadequately dealt with – and claimed he took magic mushrooms to cope with the alleged treatment.
Lumumba, who retired from football in 2016 after repeated concussion problems, said he endured a “culture of racist jokes” at the Magpies and that coach Nathan Buckley had not supported him when he spoke out against Eddie McGuire in 2013.
Club president McGuire had suggested on radio that Sydney’s Adam Goodes could be used to promote the King Kong movie, and later apologised for doing so.
“I spoke out against McGuire’s racism on 28/5/2013 and was ostracised internally for doing so, particularly from Buckley, who stated, ‘You threw the president under the bus’,” Lumumba said in a Facebook post.
“They viewed what I did as wrong, and remained unapologetic about it, and as a result, I was treated differently, for the worse.
“It had a negative effect on my mental health and general well-being.
“Without a support network within the club/league that could cater to my specific needs, I used psilocybin (mushrooms) out of desperation to deal with my distressed state, which subsequently helped me confront CFC over the issues.”
Lumumba, who made his AFL debut in 2005, also reiterated the claim that he was called “Chimp” by Collingwood teammates before being traded to Melbourne at the end of 2014.
That claim was publicly backed up by former Magpies teammate Andrew Krakouer in 2017.
Lumumba said the AFL and Collingwood did not have the capacity or desire to address the issues he raised.
“They were negligent and did not (take) their internal issues seriously,” he said.
Lumumba played 199 games for Collingwood and added another 24 with Melbourne.