Collingwood’s Do Better report has found that “systemic racism” has plagued one of the most successful sporting clubs in Australia.
Collingwood Football Club, one of the most successful teams ever in the AFL has just released the Do Better report. It was commissioned by the club in response to comments made by former Collingwood player, Héritier Lamumba.
The report found that incidents of racism within the club were met with a “defensive rather than proactive” response and that the club’s failure to respond to such incidents “has been seen as aggravating, rather than mitigating, the impact of that racism on the people who have experienced it.”
In a lengthy and at times awkward press conference, club president Eddie McGuire said that “The CFC Do Better report is an acknowledgement that our club, our game, and our country, have got things wrong.” He also mentioned that it was a “proud day” for the club.
Whether the contrition is genuine or not, Eddie McGuire’s tenure as leader of the club has been marked by not only racism within Collingwood, but elsewhere too.
Back in 2013, the racial abuse hurled at Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes, by a Collingwood supporter, in an Indigenous Round match from the sidelines, for example, was only compounded a remarkably ill-judged comment only a few days later.
Lamumba took to Twitter to voice his opinion on Collingwood’s response to the report.
5) It was disturbing to see how easily Eddie and the CFC board members reduced the severity of this “profound and enduring harm” to mere ‘mishaps’ – as if they were talking about spilling tea on a couch rather than being found guilty of years of systemic racism.
— Héritier Lumumba (@iamlumumba) February 1, 2021
Download the Do Better report here.