Collingwood’s powerful apology
Athletes from Collingwood's AFL, AFLW and netball teams have released an open letter apologising to those who have been "marginalised, hurt or discriminated against due to their race."
On Monday, Collingwood was forced to address an internal club investigation which concluded the club was guilty of fostering "systemic racism" that "has resulted in profound and enduring harm to First Nations and African players".
The investigation found the club's responses to instances of alleged racism were "at best ineffective, or at worst exacerbated the impact of the racist incidents".
The report also said Collingwood responds to racism claims through the prism of protecting the club's brand and reputation, rather than addressing the issues directly and instigating meaningful change.
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On Thursday afternoon, Collingwood Football Club and Collingwood Super Netball released a statement on behalf of the athletes, with the letter endorsed and supported fully by the 120 staff.
This is how real change is made. Players are taking responsibility for past injustices and will drive a better future. https://t.co/C7DppUqXMn— Paul Marsh (@Marsh_Paul) February 4, 2021
"Sorry," the statement began.
"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.
Magpies captains Scott Pendlebury and Stephanie Chiocci also shared the open letter to Twitter.
Collingwood's AFL campaign will commence on Friday, March 19th when they take on the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
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Originally published as 'Sorry': Collingwood's powerful apology