Buckley responds to Lumumba's fresh claims

·2-min read

Nathan Buckley remains confused by what Heritier Lumumba wants to achieve in the Collingwood premiership player's long-running dispute with his former AFL club.

Explosive claims from Lumumba about allegations of misconduct at Collingwood during Buckley's stint as coach emerged on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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".

Buckley, who exited Collingwood in mid-2021 and now works in the media, has responded to Lumumba's fresh claims.

"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 on Monday.

"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.

"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."

Buckley conceded he had not been "perfect" as a coach or a person but believes he is learning and getting better all the time.

"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," he said.

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