Heritier Lumumba was accused by senior Collingwood officials of "throwing the president under the bus" after he publicly confronted Eddie McGuire over comments he'd made linking Adam Goodes with King Kong.
Lumumba, speaking in a powerful new documentary, also reveals he did not speak up for years about being nicknamed "Chimp" by teammates because he believed nicknames were part of the AFL's culture and he wanted to fit in.
The retired Magpies premiership star said his stand against McGuire's 2013 racist radio joke ultimately led to his departure from the club, and was repeatedly thrown back at him and was so again at his final day at the club.
"People made it very clear to me that I had done the wrong thing," recalled Lumumba, "that I was the problem now. That I had thrown the president under the bus.
"I was being accused of trying to boost my profile, taking advantage of this unfortunate situation. People were almost making him [McGuire] out to be the victim."
During the documentary Fair Game to screen on SBS on Demand from August 27, Lumumba's Brazilian-born mother Elizabeth Desebelles breaks down when recounting how she learnt of her son's nickname at the club. "To have your child called a chimp for 10 years ..." she said. "When we first went to Collingwood we were welcomed by everyone ... I entrusted my son to them ..."
The Collingwood view is significantly at odds with Lumumba's version of events. According to the club, the Chimp nickname was short-lived and followed an incident at a party where Lumumba and a group of players were clowning around. Lumumba denies this.
Describing the club during his time as a "boys' club for racist and sexist jokes" Lumumba details for the first time his confrontation with coach Nathan Buckley in 2014 after Buckley made a joke about his stand against the team's racist and homophobic banter.
After walking two laps of the Holden Centre Oval, Lumumba stormed into Buckley's office, slammed the door after calling him "an insensitive f---".
"You have fantastic football knowledge but you lack sensitivity and emotional intelligence," Lumumba told Buckley before retreating from the club. He was traded to Melbourne at the end of that season and retired last year.
In the documentary, Lumumba said that the AFL, in dealing successfully with racial vilification, had failed to address the wider issue of racism. "Australian football culture is a white culture and nothing taught me that better than the Collingwood Football Club," he said.
The story Lumumba says he was accused of throwing McGuire 'under the bus' first appeared on Brisbane Times.