Nathan Buckley responds to shocking new claims from Heritier Lumumba

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Nathan Buckley, pictured here in commentary for Fox Sports.
Nathan Buckley has responded to Heritier Lumumba's new claims. Image: Getty

Nathan Buckley has responded to explosive new claims from Heritier Lumumba, questioning what the former Collingwood player wants to achieve in his long-running dispute with the club.

Lumumba levelled extraordinary new allegations of misconduct during his time under former coach Buckley at Collingwood on Monday.

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Lumumba alleged in a News Corp report that an unidentified assistant coach used a pornographic image during a team meeting in 2014 when Buckley was in charge.

“An assistant coach showed a pornographic image during a team meeting to emphasise a point that he was making,” Lumumba said.

“One of the team rules was to ‘come forward’, so he showed an image of a group of about five or more men ejaculating on a woman’s face with the words ‘come forward’ as a caption.

“Nathan Buckley was the head coach and seemed unfazed by it all.”

The former defender also claimed that ex-chief executive Gary Pert made sexually inappropriate comments in front of players' partners in 2011.

Lumumba, who left Collingwood in 2014, has been speaking out about his experiences of racism at the Magpies for a number of years.

Collingwood has vowed to implement all recommendations from the 'Do Better' report last year, which included a strategy to address racism.

But Lumumba recently announced he and fellow former Collingwood stars Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer had cut ties with the club in belief "nothing has changed".

Heritier Lumumba, pictured here in action for Collingwood in 2014.
Heritier Lumumba in action for Collingwood in 2014. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Nathan Buckley responds to Heritier Lumumba claims

Buckley, who left Collingwood last year and now works in the media, responded to Lumumba's fresh claims on Monday morning.

"The club have, from my understanding tried to work with Heritier and other Indigenous players, who have been part of systemic racism situations over the course of the club's history," he told SEN radio.

"I am happy to engage with the club however they wish, but Heritier hasn't been satisfied with that and that's why we are where we're at

"There are other versions of the truth that are a long way away from the way he perceives it.

"It seems that Heritier doesn't really want to move forward unless, I don't know, he needs heads to roll.

"I don't know exactly what he's looking for, or what his requirements are to feel like he has been heard, because that is really what we have tried to do.

Nathan Buckley, pictured here after coaching his final game for Collingwood in 2021.
Nathan Buckley celebrates after coaching his final game for Collingwood in 2021. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"He has been apologised to - I've apologised to him, the club has apologised to him ... for the environment that he's been in - and not just Heritier - but the other Indigenous players.

"Other areas when we talk about misogyny, homophobia, those cultural aspects of an organisation - football clubs have come a long way.

"We're talking about things that have happened 10-to-15 years ago, and when you remove context and bring it into the current day, it sounds even more abhorrent than it would have been then."

Lumumba also said in his final year at the Magpies: “Buckley became increasingly paranoid about me.

“In team meetings I would constantly catch him staring at me, and even when he was speaking in front of the group he would consistently glance down at me.

“It became too much for me, so I confronted him about it privately. He claimed that he felt I was judging him for his intelligence, and that I was demanding too much from the club.

“When it came to the culture of the club he became hyper defensive about being held to the standards and values he was supposed to be leading.”

with AAP

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