MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Collingwood Magpies defender Heritier Lumumba said on Thursday he will not participate in the Australian Football League team’s investigation into his allegations of racism because he had already shared his “truth” with the club.
Brazil-born Lumumba, who played 199 games for Collingwood between 2005-14, wrote on social media earlier this month that he had been subjected to racist jokes and was nicknamed “Chimp” during his time at the club.
He later added that he was left isolated at the Magpies after speaking out about racism and wanted a public apology.
Collingwood said on Tuesday it would investigate the allegations and wanted to talk to Lumumba, but the 33-year-old told state radio on Thursday he had nothing more to say to them.
“The reason why I will not participate in this so-called investigation is that they already have my truth,” said Lumumba.
“I’ve reported it to them, to administrators, to board members, to coaches at the Collingwood FC in the two years prior to me leaving.
“So for the Collingwood Football Club to suggest that it needs to embark on this investigation to get my truth and to participate in that, it’s rather insulting.”
Six former players have verified Lumumba’s allegation he was called ‘Chimp’, including two in a report by Australian broadcaster SBS on Wednesday.
Former midfielder Brent Macaffer said he “clearly” remembered the nickname when he arrived at the club in 2006.
Coach Nathan Buckley, a former team mate of Lumumba who has been on the Collingwood staff since 2010, told reporters on Wednesday he had never heard the nickname used.
“Clearly my character is being questioned ... and I know where I stand in that regard,” he said.
“But we will do this (investigation) the right way and we will do it with the right people and we will do it with integrity.
“We are not about sweeping anything under the carpet here.”
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford