Heritier Lumumba was the headline guest on The Marngrook Footy Show, live on NITV on Thursday night, but the all-star guest list also featured AFLW giants Sabrina Frederick-Traub from Brisbane Lions and Melissa Hickey from Melbourne.
Joining hosts Grant Hansen and Gilbert McAdam too, were Eric Hipwood from Brisbane Lions’ AFL side, Ted Whitten Jnr and guest panellists Doug Hawkins and Robert DiPierdomenico.
Lumumba was speaking in an exclusive interview with The Marngrook Footy Show, after a documentary focusing on his journey during his AFL career at Collingwood and his battles with racism was released exclusively on SBS’ on demand service.
The former Magpies and Demons AFL player, who is of Brazilian and Congolese descent, spoke about how he considered his relationship with former coach Nathan Buckley was tarnished by a lack of understanding of racism.
Lumumba says Buckley shouldn’t be isolated and he doesn’t want to isolate any individuals, but “it’s about highlighting a culture that not only the Collingwood football club is a part of, but this whole country is a part of.
“And it’s a culture that is also part of a global system that I mentioned, that the places where I’ve travelled and all over the places in the world, that the system of racism, that white supremacy, is something that affects people to a level of genocide.
“And that’s what’s happening to people here in this country and that’s what’s happening all around the world.”
When Hickey and Frederick-Traub joined the show, Grant Hansen asked Hickey whether the presence of the AFLW has lifted the standard throughout the suburban leagues as well.
“Yeah 100 per cent, yeah definitely,” Hickey said.
“I think we’ve just seen the standards lifted and the professionalism’s lifted.”
Regular panellist Shelley Ware also joined the panel and spoke of her reflections about the inaugural AFLW.
“I don’t like how you are paid by the hour,” Ware said of the AFLW athletes.
“I really would like that changed. What are your feelings? Would you like to see that you’re just given a lump sum like the boys?
“At the moment it’s a bit frustrating with the hours that we’re giving because sometimes things have to be let up like recovery or things like that and all those things are important at an elite level."
“You have access to what the club has there and you have dedicated people that shouldn’t have to leave just because their hours have run up,” Ware added.
“Absolutely,” Frederick-Traub said. “I think spreading out the time and paying us for a lump sum just means that we can commit the team that’s needed for an elite level.
“At the moment it’s a bit frustrating with the hours that we’re giving because sometimes things have to be let up like recovery or things like that and all those things are important at an elite level. So I guess I would like to see that change in the next few years, I’m hoping that’s what we’re inching towards.”
Frederick-Traub and Hickey played in a State of Origin game between Victoria and Allies on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, which had entry free for spectators.
Ted Whitten Jnr spoke on Marngrook on Thursday about playing with the likes of Doug Hawkins, who said Whitten would have easily played 200-300 games if not for a serious and recurring knee injury which cut his career short at the age of 25.
Whitten Jnr and the panel shared stories about the E.J. Whitten Legends Match, which McAdam, DiPierdomenico and Hawkins have all played in.
“Even though we finished on the bottom of the ladder, we’re still happy with our performance I think we’ve improved from last year,”
Brisbane forward Hipwood was one of the first guests on Marngrook on Thursday and gave an insight into how he admires one-club players and also the upward journey he feels the Lions are on.
“Even though we finished on the bottom of the ladder, we’re still happy with our performance I think we’ve improved from last year,” he said.
“I think last year we only won 18 quarters and this year we’ve won close to 30.
“I guess we can be happy with that but yet again, we finished bottom of the ladder so I’m pretty disappointed that we did.”
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