A former Collingwood teammate of Heritier Lumumba accused the former defender of making up the ‘chimp’ nickname in a series of since-deleted Facebook comments.
Simon Buckley, who played 26 games for the Magpies between 2011 and 2012, made the claim in a comment on a Facebook post from Shae McNamara, one of small group of Collingwood players to publicly support Lumumba after he aired his experiences at Collingwood.
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However, despite McNamara, club favourite Leon Davis, and various others publicly vouching for Lumumba’s story, Buckley claimed Lumumba had been happy to go along with things during his playing days.
Lumumba’s public descriptions of Collingwood’s response to acts of racism ultimately led to a review which found the club guilty of ‘systemic racism’ in a report completed in December, and leaked several weeks ago.
“He made the nickname up for himself,” Buckley wrote.
“He was all for it when he was winning flags and playing well. He would refer to himself as chimp. He all of a sudden 10 years later wants to be a humanitarian.
“He never complained when he was winning flags and getting a kick himself and calling himself that name. Now all of a sudden he’s out of the media and wants to be back in the limelight and get a few bucks. Weak as p*ss.
“If he wanted to preach about racism, he shoulda called it out at the time and not run with it and calling himself that for a laugh.”
Former Collingwood teammate’s accusation for Lumumba
McNamara objected to Buckley’s comments, pointing out that Lumumba was ‘a black man in Australia — he got it all the time’, but that appeared to mean little to Buckley.
He instead doubled down, argued that he appreciated the views of Indigenous players such as Davis, but that Lumumba’s Brazilian heritage made him different.
“Harry has nothing to do with that. He’s Brazilian. And if he cared so much, he wouldn’t have made the name up for himself,” Buckley wrote.
According to the Herald Sun, Lumamba personally responded to those comments before McNamara’s post was deleted entirely.
Lumumba broke down the argument Buckley raised point by point in the since-removed post.
“1. ‘He made the nickname up for himself.’ Although we indeed were teammates, the time that we spend within that paradigm was a mere 20% of the time that I was at the CFC i.e. 2 years out of the 10 years that I was there,” Lumumba posted.
“As I have consistently stated over the past 4 year, the nickname ‘Chimp’ began in 2005, during the pre-season and, no, I did not make it up myself.
“Despite the nickname being overtly racist, unfortunately, it was not the worst facet of the interpersonal racism that I encountered during my 10 years at CFC. Within 2 months of me being at the club, I had already been exposed to a culture where racist ideas, in the form of jokes, stereotypes and direct abuse was prevalent.
“2. ‘He was all for it when winning flags and playing well.’ I’ve heard this flimsy argument thrown around by white people who aren’t familiar with what I have already said on the public record. They are using a reductionist framework to evaluate how racism manifests for individuals.
“I’ve gone on the public record to state that from 2004 up until 2013, I had adopted a “go along to get along” approach to cope with being within the club’s culture. When I was “winning flags and playing well”, during the 2 years you were on the list, I was a young man of 23-24 years of age, and had yet to understand the dangerous implications of the racism that was allowed to proliferate within the club’s culture.
“This culture existed before I was even there; simply ask my brother, Leon Davis, who is 100% in support of me.”
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