COLLINGWOOD has referred former player Heritier Lumumba's racism allegations to the club's integrity committee, saying it "could not fully appreciate the personal impact of his experiences" during his time at the club.
Earlier this month, Lumumba posted on social media that he wasn't interested in sitting down with his former teammate and coach Nathan Buckley after he offered to "reach out" to Lumumba before they acknowledge some "fundamental facts".
1. Interesting that Collingwood is now shifting its narrative to claim that they are trying to 'reach out' to me. Let me very clear: I have no intention of sitting down with anyone until they publicly acknowledge some fundamental facts.https://t.co/RLPfGD6w6N— Hériter Lumumba (@iamlumumba) June 12, 2020
He continued: "Why a public acknowledgment? Because I have been discredited publicly. I don't want a private handshake. I want justice for how I was treated. That includes correcting public denials about my account of the racism and isolation I faced.
"Collingwood needs to acknowledge the following: They did not have the cultural competence and organisational literacy to deal with a real culture of racism at the club, of which I was a victim for a number of years."
Pies board member Jodie Sizer, who is the co-founder and co-CEO of PwC's Indigenous Consulting, has been co-opted on to the integrity committee as it investigates Lumumba's renewed claims of racism during his 10-year career with the club.
Collingwood director Peter Murphy is the committee's chair, while the club's chief executive Mark Anderson is also on the committee.
"This is a serious issue," Sizer said in a statement released by the club on Monday evening.
"As a board we have come together and unanimously agreed we need to take action. The integrity committee has started to map a way forward.
"From my perspective the whole of Australia is on an important journey as it deals with racism, the impacts of racism and considers what, as a nation, we want to be and are to become.
"Collingwood is also on its own journey and important to both quests is truth telling. Understanding the truth, owning the truth and supporting those in sharing their truths is a key next step for any action.
"We would like to talk with and listen to Heritier because his truth is a critical part of this."