The President of the Collingwood Football Club should resign and issue a public apology, says Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe, following the leak of a report into the club which found it to be guilty of systemic racism.
The report, which was commissioned by the club itself, described Collingwood’s history of racism as “distinct” from the broader AFL spectrum and it’s response to racist incidents had been “at best ineffective.”
The report found the club was more likely to react to media coverage about a racist incident rather than when complaints were made internally, and that when it did it was done with the intention of controlling damage and brand reputation rather than addressing real issues.
Club president Eddie McGuire announced last month he would be stepping down from the role at the end of the next season, but Senator Thorpe says the club should demand McGuire’s immediate resignation.
The report was sparked by former player Heritier Lumumba’s allegations that the club had a problem with structural racism that had not been addressed by senior leadership.
Eddie McGuire fronted media on Monday afternoon and said it was a “proud day” for the club.
The report has handed down 18 recommendations which include developing a “truth-telling” process within the club to address the impacts of racism on Indigenous people and other people of colour.
The club has committed to meeting all 18 recommendations delivered by the report, which was undertaken and written by Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt, director of the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education at UTS, and her colleague Professor Lindon Coombes.