Former Collingwood footballer blasts teammates for inaction over racism

A former Collingwood footballer has accused former club captain Nick Maxwell of self-preservation by staying silent over the treatment of Héritier Lumumba.

Lumumba sparked a review by Collingwood over his allegations of racism during his time at the club between 2005 and 2014.

The review found Collingwood was guilty of systemic racism.

The club’s long-standing president, Eddie McGuire, resigned the week after the review was leaked to the media following sustained criticism of his initial response to the report.

American-born former player Shae McNamara was a teammate of Lumumba’s during his three years at the club from 2010-2012.

An AFL player kicks a football.An AFL player kicks a football.
Lumumba and McNamara were teammates at Collingwood between 2010 and 2012.(AAP: Julian Smith)

He has released a string of tweets singling out people he says did not do the right thing, including Maxwell, former president of the AFL Players Association Luke Ball, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and McGuire.

“Although I have spoken and stood by Héritier Lumumba, regarding how he was treated during and after Collingwood, I have bitten my tongue for far too long and I can no longer stay silent in what has really bothered me,” he tweeted.

Maxwell was captain for five years while Lumumba was at the club and is currently employed as the Leadership and Culture Manager at the club.

McNamara tweeted about Maxwell: “Your silence in choosing your self-preservation with the club is really disappointing.”

He later put out a tweet correcting an earlier one he had made alleging Maxwell had named his dog after Héritier.

Regarding the former Collingwood player and AFLPA president Luke Ball, McNamara wrote: “I know you were very close with Héritier in and outside the club.

“You knew what he went through and you chose to stay silent when you could have validated his experience. Your self-preservation is really disappointing.”


On the coach, Nathan Buckley, he wrote: “You tried to publicly deny this for several years… Why are you hiding now? Are you still being all you can be?”


Of former president Eddie McGuire, he wrote: “It’s unfortunate that you fumbled a lot of chances to get it right and take the right path.”


He also accused McGuire of asking him to take down a social media statement about McGuire’s comments on Sydney player Adam Goodes in 2013.

McGuire was forced to apologise to Goodes after suggesting he could help promote the movie King Kong.

“In ’13, I made a social media statement on Ed’s comments about Adam Goodes,” McNamara tweeted.

“I then got a text from Ed saying “Side by Side?” And asking me to take it down. I told him that I’d take it down — choosing to support cuz him (sic) we all make mistakes, but he knew I was disappointed,” McNamara wrote on Twitter.


McNamara tweeted he was one of seven past members to acknowledge that racism did exist with the club.

He’s previously spoken out about racism at the club but has never named names or made specific accusations.

“Although it wasn’t every player’s actions, it’s fair to say that almost every player that played while I was there, knows that this is true,” he tweeted.

He has called on current Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury to change the club’s culture.


A spokesman for Collingwood said the club would not be commenting on McNamara’s tweets.

The ABC has contacted Luke Ball for comment but is yet to receive a reply.