• Former teammate of Heritier Lumumba, Andrew Krakouer says he did hear racist language at Collingwood. (Getty)Source: Getty
Former AFL player Andrew Krakouer has told The Marngrook Footy Show it’s disappointing neither Collingwood or the AFL have publicly responded to the issues of racism addressed in Heritier Lumumba’s documentary ‘Fair Game’.
Will Davies

8 Sep 2017 - 4:14 PM  UPDATED 8 Sep 2017 - 4:14 PM

Andrew Krakouer, a former Collingwood AFL player and teammate of Heritier Lumumba, says it’s disappointing the issues of racism spoken about in Lumumba’s documentary ‘Fair Game’ haven’t been addressed by the football club or the league itself.

Krakouer spoke with The Marngrook Footy Show, live on NITV on last night, and detailed his experiences in dealing with racism and in response to Lumumba outlining how he was given the nickname ‘Chimp’ during his time at Collingwood.

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“Yes absolutely I did hear it mate,” Krakouer said when asked if he heard people calling Lumumba ‘Chimp’.

“That’s why I felt like it was on me to come out and support Heritier and there’s a lot of people saying that they haven’t heard it and it sounds like they’re dismissing the allegations a little bit.

“So I felt it was really important for me to stand up and support what I heard and hopefully we can try to work together to move forward after these allegations,” he said.

Regular Marngrook panellist Shelley Ware asked Krakouer, “this week, the biggest thing that has stood out for me, is the fact that the Collingwood Football Club haven’t actually come forward and said anything. How have you felt about their silence?” Ware asked.

“It’s pretty disappointing Shelley. With such a serious allegation and such serious issues being raised I think the silence has been pretty poor and throughout the AFL and Collingwood’s response,” Krakouer said.

“It’s not about pointing fingers, I think the first step is for the issues of racism to be acknowledged, people made accountable and then we can hopefully move forward and try to close that gap.”

“It’s not about pointing fingers, I think the first step is for the issues of racism to be acknowledged, people made accountable and then we can hopefully move forward and try to close that gap.”

Host of The Marngrook Footy Show, Grant Hansen, asked Krakouer if he’d had any personal contact from the Collingwood Football Club this week, after he also made comments public in a newspaper article about his experiences while at the club.           

“I’ve had a brief chat with Eddie (Maguire, president). But I’m not going to go into details with that but he has touched base with me and reached out and had a bit of a chat,” Krakouer revealed.

“Hopefully, like I’ve said, these people in these leadership roles, would love them to acknowledge and take accountability because the precedent that sets is that racism isn’t really wanted in our game. If they can do something like that, that would be a huge step forward.”

Krakouer also spoke on Thursday about his mixed feelings in the aftermath of club president Maguire making comments in 2013 about former Sydney Swans champion Adam Goodes in reference to the promotion of the movie ‘King Kong’.

“I couldn’t put my finger on it what I was feeling,” Krakouer said.

“I knew that I was upset and it did really hurt me and deeply offend me but I just didn’t quite know how I felt and what it was doing to me.

“I knew I wasn’t in the right headspace to play AFL footy and after I spoke to the coaching staff about not going to the airport and getting on the plane I was urged to get on the plane because if I didn’t, it was like I was going to make a political stance against Eddie and the footy club.

“And then thinking about that, that’s not something I wanted to do because I was very grateful to Collingwood football club and (coach) Mick Malthouse gave me another opportunity to play football.

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“So with them not understanding what I was going through and how those comments about Adam Goodes affected me, I was thinking, ‘OK, because I’m not quite sure what I’m feeling, I don’t want to do the wrong thing by the Collingwood football club either’.

“But in doing that, looking back on that now, like I said in my article, I turned my back on myself, my family, my culture. Looking back on it I was a broken man, I wasn’t quite aware what I was feeling at that time.”

Also on Marngrook on Thursday night was St Kilda ruckman Billy Longer, North Melbourne defender Robbie Tarrant and Carlton legend and ultimate finals performer Wayne Johnston.

Johnston joined the panel as part of Rohan Connolly’s ‘Rounds of Our Lives’, taking an in-depth look at the 1985 elimination final between North Melbourne and Carlton, which guest panellist Phil Krakouer played in for the victorious Kangaroos.

The documentary ‘Fair Game’, featuring former Collingwood and Melbourne Demons AFL footballer Lumumba, is available to watch via the SBS On Demand service.

For more football news and to be a part of the conversation, head to The Marngrook Footy Show’s Facebook and Twitter pages, or watch Thursday’s episode in full On Demand catch up service.