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McGuire steps down as Collingwood president after racism report

Collingwood Magpies' long-serving president Eddie McGuire stepped down from his role on Tuesday following an independent review which found "systemic" racism within the Australian Football League (AFL) club.
McGuire, who spent 22 years at Collingwood, said last week it was "an historic and proud day" for the club after the report found racism had resulted in "profound and enduring harm to First Nations and African players."
The 56-year-old had been due to step down at the end of this year but said he decided to quit early in the wake of the criticism over his remarks.
"People have latched on to my opening line last week and as a result I have become a lightning rod for criticism but have placed the club in a position where it is hard to move forward with our plans of clear air," McGuire said on Tuesday.
"I try my best and I don't always get it right, but I don't stop trying. The board ... commissioned the Do Better Report for the right reasons. We can learn from our past. This is why I say we are not a racist club, far from it.
"I remind people that our recent review, inspired by 'Black Lives Matter', that part of a six-year journey of our reconciliation action plan was to look to what we need to do in the next 10 years, not the last."
Collingwood said in June last year they would investigate allegations of racism made by former defender Heritier Lumumba, who played 199 games for the team from 2005-14.
Brazil-born Lumumba had said on social media he endured a "culture of racist jokes" and was nicknamed "Chimp" while at the club. He added that coach Nathan Buckley had failed to support him.


© Thomson Reuters 2021.
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