Nathan Buckley and Heritier Lumumba at 2014 training session. Picture: AFL Photos

COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley wants "disgruntled" former Magpie Heritier Lumumba to return to the club to see how much its environment has improved.

Buckley's impassioned plea to Lumumba after Thursday night's draw with Richmond at the MCG followed club president Eddie McGuire's comments a night earlier of his same intention to speak to him.


The animosity between Lumumba and his old team continues to be played out publicly, even with him living in Los Angeles and four years passing since he retired from the AFL.

The 33-year-old, who played in Collingwood's 2010 premiership, this week again raised accusations of racism from his time at the club, including alleging he was nicknamed "chimp".

Lumumba was also left disappointed by McGuire's comments on radio in 2013 about Indigenous champion Adam Goodes.

TAKING A KNEE Players show support for Black Lives Matter

Lumumba's relationship with Buckley was fractured in the aftermath of that incident, with the coach saying his player had thrown McGuire "under the bus" with his public condemnation of him.

The Black Lives Matter movement, which has reached Australian shores and saw the Magpies and Tigers kneel together pre-match to protest racism, was sparked from the tragic death of African-American George Floyd.


"I think everyone has been impacted and had their eyes opened by the events over in America, and it's definitely shone a light on the same issues of systemic racism in our culture," Buckley said.

"Clearly the thing that needs to be spoken about is … we have a disgruntled ex-player in this particular issue of racism.

"I speak for the club generally but I have to speak for myself. I'm not comfortable with the fact Harry, sorry, Heritier, feels like he's been belittled and diminished in our environment.

"I haven't spoken to 'H' since 2014 (but) I'd love to speak to him again."

Buckley said Collingwood was already in the process of creating a "culture of acceptance" while Lumumba was still a Magpie but had taken even greater strides since then.


"I'd love to have him come to his old football club and to see what we have become," he said.

"The culture of acceptance, the celebration of difference – no matter your colour, your religion, whatever your upbringing has been – we've actually been able to grow as an environment.

"We were growing when he was there – and he was a big part of it – and we're still growing.

"I'm really proud of the club we are now and I'd love to share that with him, because he's been a big part of that.

"I'll continue to try and reach out to listen to him, to see if there's something we can do about how he has felt about his experiences at the club."