October 1, 2022

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Collingwood says former players Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer have returned to the AFL club just three months after the pair severed ties with the Magpies for failing to address a litany of racist incidents during their playing days.

In April, former teammate Heritier Lumumba said he, Davis and Krakouer terminated communications with Collingwood because the club had no intention of acting in “good faith” to confront racism the players experienced at the club.

But in a statement, the Magpies announced Davis and Krakouer have both been employed by the club.

“Leon and Andrew recently shared their experiences of racism with representatives from the club board with both former Collingwood players committed to being involved in the Club’s Truth-Telling Program – a process to more deeply understand their experiences and the impacts racism has had on their lives to better inform ongoing cultural change at the club,” the statement read.

“Leon has been employed by the club on a full-time basis to assist with its commitment to building a culturally safe environment for all staff and players and Andrew will be employed to help support this.”

Last year, Collingwood accepted a series of recommendations from a damning, independent review known as the “Do Better” report, promising to address and reconcile past acts of racism.

The report found the organisation was guilty of “distinct and egregious” systemic racism, and it called for deep, structural change.

The so-called “truth-telling” or reconciliation process, which began earlier this year, is one of the report’s recommendations.

Davis said he shared his experiences of racism as a player.

A man waves to the crowd during a lap of honour
Davis played over 200 matches during his decade with the Magpies. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney )

“Unfortunately, these instances weren’t my first as I have experienced racism from a very young age,” Davis said in the statement.

“So too have members of my family and hearing my father’s stories of racism and what he experienced is something that drives me to make change and ensure we all do better.”

“This is a community issue, a nationwide issue and ultimately a world issue and we must do better to stop racism.

“I am pleased to have a role where I am now encouraged to implement and drive cultural change and know I have the full support of all those at the club in doing so.”

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