Héritier Lumumba says he will not “take orders” from his former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, who has called for the retired AFL premiership player to release more audio of their conversations to provide context.
Lumumba has leaked recordings from his final year at the Magpies.
Buckley challenged Lumumba via a social media post to “put a full and uncut version of our conversations on public record so as to provide context to our conversations”.
Lumumba, who left Collingwood in 2014, said on Wednesday he had “countless hours” of secret audio but would share it as he saw fit.
“This isn’t a football match – I don’t take orders from Nathan Buckley and I haven’t done that for a long time,” he told the ABC on Wednesday. “I will share my truth as I see fit.”
The audio, tweeted by Lumumba on Tuesday, appears to verify his claim that Buckley accused him of throwing Eddie McGuire “under a bus” when he publicly questioned the then Collingwood president’s suggestion Adam Goodes be used to promote the musical King Kong, remarks for which McGuire subsequently apologised.
The Brazilian-born defender said the club’s public image was different to the one behind closed doors and he felt they had not made significant moves to deal with racism despite the release of the Do Better report early last year.
“In the last 15 months, I have been dealing directly with Collingwood, speaking with multiple board members, dealing with their legal team and what I have seen is a continuation of their misconduct, a continuation of dishonesty and also a continuation of damage control and looking to push out an image that is not based in the reality of the way that they are conducting themselves behind closed doors,” Lumumba said.
“I remain sceptical of any statements that Collingwood football club puts out and I think time will reveal all. I think the Collingwood football club will always remain a club that is associated with racism.”
Current Collingwood coach Craig McRae said he was not across Lumumba’s latest comments but defended the Magpies and the work they were doing to improve.
“I take great pride in our environment right now and that’s all I can control,” McRae said on Wednesday following training. “I’m really proud of the diversity we’ve got in our group and the safe environment that we’re creating.
“We want to get better in all areas and we’re not standing still. We had a session last week, education around truth telling, these things are taking place as we try to get better off the field as well as on.”
He said the current group had not discussed Lumumba’s accusations and remained focused on their match with the Western Bulldogs.
McRae was an assistant coach while Lumumba was at the club but denied any knowledge of a pornographic image being allegedly included in a team meeting.
“My experience may be different to his,” he said. “I just can’t recall any image at the time I was here.”