Collingwood FC Must Acknowledge and Fight Racism

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The time has come to confront Collingwood Football Club’s racist past.

As Collingwood fans our hearts broke for Nicky Winmar in 1993. The Monkhorst and Long incident in 1995 spurred the inspiring Long Walk initiative. More recently, Australian of the Year Adam Goodes’ life and career were changed forever, after name-calling and jeering at a Collingwood game in 2013. Even 2010 Premiership champion Heritier Lumumba (formerly O’Brien) was cast aside when brave enough to speak publicly against racism ignored by the Club. As any footy fan knows, these are just a few examples and more keep coming to light. 

This problem has for too long extended from the rooms to the stands, yet it has never been recognised or acknowledged by Collingwood as a pattern of behaviour. Instead, each incident has been treated as unique, or buried in an "internal investigation". A shameful culture has been denied and worse still, protected. But these are not isolated acts, they form a pattern.

Systemic racism is not unique to Collingwood and it thrives upon the false notion that harm can only be done by those who harbour ill-intent. The Club must explore why these abuses have been normalised and repeated, and address them directly and comprehensively. To enable growth and healing, Collingwood must take responsibility, once and for all.

When someone is hurt, we stop the game. It’s time for a formal recognition and apology from the leadership of the league’s most powerful club. Only then can we fairly play on.

By signing this petition, you are supporting efforts to inspire healing at Collingwood, including a public acknowledgment of the history of harm and a formal apology for a pattern of racist incidents. Beyond that, we hope to bolster efforts to heal the harm of racism within the AFL, Australia and around the World.  Thank you for taking the time to show you care, and to read our full letter to the board of the Collingwood Football Club, click here.

Yours faithfully,

Collingwood Fans Care