Collingwood’s footballers and netballers have done what club President Eddie McGuire didn’t this week and said sorry.
The apology came in an open letter penned in the wake of a damning report which revealed a history of :systemic racism” at one of the biggest sporting clubs in Australia.
Amid reports of a tense meeting between players this week the players were sorry for anyone who “had been marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race.”
The Magpies’ playing group said it felt “responsible for these injustices” through “our silence”.
Collingwood’s response to incidents of racism was laid bare in a 35-page report, which the Herald Sun published on Monday.
The letter reads:
As athletes we are sorry to anyone who, through their association with our club, has been marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race.
Through our silence we feel responsible for these injustices. We acknowledge it is not enough to simply show support for the principles of anti-racism and inclusion. We will confront the history of our club in order to learn, heal and determine how best to walk forward together.
Over the last 72 hours we have had the opportunity to digest the DO BETTER report. We also apologise to those members, fans and community who feel guilt and shame as a result of the systemic racism that has occurred within our organisation.
To all the young people who dream about one day pulling on the black and white stripes, we pledge as athletes to continue to help create a club that allows ALL of us to thrive, regardless of race.
This letter is endorsed and supported fully by the 120 staff of Collingwood.
McGuire was heavily criticised for his initial response when the report, commissioned by the club, was leaked.
The outgoing President called it a “proud day” before recanting 24 hours later in a speech at the club’s AGM.
A statement from our athletes.
The following letter has been written by the 150 footballers and netballers of Collingwood. pic.twitter.com/m6U0H3MooV
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