‘Chimp’ nickname exposed in old magazine
Heritier Lumumba, who was known as Harry O'Brien in his early days at Collingwood, listed one of his nicknames as "The Chimp" in an interview with the AFL record that's resurfaced online.
The player profile, printed in the magazine that's sold at football grounds, adds a new twist to the Collingwood racism saga, which resulted in Eddie McGuire quitting his post as president on Tuesday.
It was shared by former Geelong player and prominent football identity Sam Newman, who labelled the treatment of McGuire an "absolute disgrace".
Newman asked his Twitter followers: "What would you make of this?"
Lumumba also answered "chimpanzee" to the question "If I were an animal, I'd be …" but also, perhaps tellingly, said his worst trait was "I find it hard to say no".
The responses are being used by some to argue Lumumba had no problem with the nickname, but others are suggesting it could simply be a sign he adopted the moniker to fit in with his teammates.
"Like he said he was trying to fit in and get along Sam," one person replied to Newman's tweet. "Maybe he even convinced himself he was OK with it. Then he realised he wasn't OK with it. You have always been a t***".
Newman fired back: "You dopey, delusional w***er."
Lumumba, who has prominently called out his former club for allowing systemic racism to go unchecked, was recently accused by former teammate Simon Buckley of making up the nickname himself.
"He was all for it when he was winning flags and playing well. He would refer to himself as chimp. He all of a sudden 10 years later wants to be a humanitarian," Buckley, who is Indigenous, said.
"He never complained when he was winning flags and getting a kick himself and calling himself that name. Now all of a sudden he's out of the media and wants to be back in the limelight and get a few bucks. Weak as p*ss.
"If he wanted to preach about racism, he shoulda called it out at the time and not run with it and calling himself that for a laugh."
Lumumba later hit back at Buckley's accusations, claiming the nickname "began in 2005, during the pre-season and, no, I did not make it up myself".
"Despite the nickname being overtly racist, unfortunately, it was not the worst facet of the interpersonal racism that I encountered during my 10 years at CFC. Within two months of me being at the club, I had already been exposed to a culture where racist ideas, in the form of jokes, stereotypes and direct abuse, was prevalent," he posted.
He also reiterated that at the time, he was "a young man of 23-24 years of age, and had yet to understand the dangerous implications of the racism that was allowed to proliferate within the club's culture".
Originally published as 'Chimp' nickname exposed in old magazine