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Collingwood found guilty of systemic racism



An independent investigation has found Collingwood Football Club's history guilty of "systemic racism".


The investigation recommended significant changes were made at the Magpies to ensure the club eliminated a culture that the report described as "toxic".


Details of the investigation were made public by News Corp on Monday. It found racism at Collingwood had resulted in "profound and enduring harm" to First Nations and African players which "affected them, their communities, and set dangerous norms for the public".


The report said: "While claims of racism have been made across the AFL, there is something distinct and egregious about Collingwood's history.


"In the thirty interviews undertaken for this review, there was no clear consensus about what the values of the Collingwood Football Club were.


"Collingwood claims to be guided by four formal values - belonging, commitment, realising potential and caring.


"There is a gap between what Collingwood Football Club says it stands for and what it does."


The review found there has been a consistent pattern of Collingwood failing to adequately address incidents when they have arisen.


It also found there was an absence of internal avenues for reporting racism in the club until very recently.


Positive steps already taken by Collingwood include the introduction of policies that directly target racism and the appointment of a new CEO who is committed to making changes.


The report made 18 recommendations, including urging Collingwood to ensure accountability and consequences for acts of racism within the club and to develop a strategy to address and reconcile past acts of racism.


The report was commissioned by Collingwood's board last year after a series of claims made by former player and 2010 premiership star Heritier Lumumba.


The investigation was conducted by distinguished professor Larissa Behrendt and professor Lindon Coombes, from the University of Technology Sydney.


Their report was handed to the club's board on December 17.


IMAGE: ABC.

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