I supported Lumumba: Magpies coach Buckley

Aug 19, 2017 - 9:07 AM Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has defended his relationship with Heritier Lumumba after the retired Magpie lashed out at his former coach.

Lumumba, who played 199 games for Collingwood and was part of their 2010 premiership side, has described his fractured bond with Buckley in an SBS documentary to be aired this month.

The Brazilian-born midfielder claimed Buckley had made light of "racist and homophobic banter" at the club, according to a Fairfax Media report on Saturday.

Lumumba also reportedly put up with being nicknamed "chimp" because he wanted to fit in with his teammates.

Speaking after the Pies' loss to Geelong on Saturday, Buckley said he had been unaware of the nickname, and suggested Lumumba had characterised their relationship unfairly.

"It's a bit sad, in many ways, that H feels that way about his experiences in the game," Buckley said.

"I suppose I'd echo the sentiments of the club, just hoping that he's doing well and that he can still see the positives of his experience as an AFL footballer as well.

"I've personally always looked out for and been aware of H's issues or his concerns or challenges, and tried to support him as best I possibly can in my role as teammate, captain and then coach.

"There's a bit more that goes on than just the one anecdote at one moment."

Lumumba was traded to Melbourne at the end of 2014 but retired two years later after a dispute with the Demons about their handling of his repeated concussions.

The Dees remained adamant they had handled Lumumba's situation appropriately.

Source: AAP






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