Thursday, October 22, 2020

Heritier Lumumba lodges Supreme Court claim against Collingwood and the AFL, alleging failure to protect him from racism

Heritier Lumumba won't join Collingwood's 'insulting' internal review of racism allegations

Heritier Lumumba is suing Collingwood and the AFL over racist abuse he was allegedly subjected to during his playing days, claiming he suffered trauma, humiliation, distress and loss of enjoyment.

Mr Lumumba filed documents in the Supreme Court on Wednesday outlining his allegations.

The documents claim Collingwood failed to protect the now-retired footballer from racial abuse or racially-offensive conduct.

Mr Lumumba also alleges the AFL did not take steps to protect him from the racial abuse.

“On numerous occasions during his employment, the plaintiff was subjected to racial abuse or racially offensive conduct,” the court documents read.

“By reason of the matters set out above, the plaintiff has suffered loss, damage and injury including trauma, humiliation, distress, and loss of enjoyment.”

The documents also claimed that the AFL owed a duty to Mr Lumumba to take “reasonable steps to prevent players subjecting other players to racial abuse and racially-offensive conduct, and to impose sanctions on players who breached those rules”.

“At no relevant time did the [AFL] take any or any sufficient steps to ensure that the plaintiff was not subjected to racial abuse or racially offensive conduct,” the documents read.

The court documents set out that Mr Lumumba is seeking damages, exemplary damages, interest, costs and “such further orders as the court considers just”.

Heritier Lumumba spoke out about his treatment at his old club this year, leading Collingwood to launch an independent review.(Instagram: hlumumba)

In June, Mr Lumumba said a lack of anti-racism policies allowed a culture of discrimination to fester within Collingwood, which led to racist jokes and comments.

Mr Lumumba said he was called “chimp” by some of his teammates during his career at the Magpies.

Collingwood have since launched an independent review into the culture of the club during his time there.

Mr Lumumba played 199 games for Collingwood between 2005-2014.

He added a further 24 for Melbourne over two years before retiring at the end of 2016 after struggling to recover from repeated concussions.

Mr Lumumba’s legal counsel, Rhea Dillon responded to ABC with a short statement.

“Mr Lumumba’s experiences as an employee of the Collingwood Football Club are well-documented,” she said.

“He has instructed solicitors to represent him and to take steps to protect his legal rights. Mr Lumumba has no further comment at this time.”


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