Ex-Collingwood forward Andrew Krakouer has detailed the moment he heard a shocking racial slur in the team changerooms that left him feeling “anxious” and “disgusted”.
While at his locker at Collingwood’s Holden Centre headquarters midway through the 2012 season, Krakouer overheard a group of three teammates sharing an abhorrent joke about Indigenous Australians.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, the former forward recounted what followed when he confronted the trio over their behaviour.
“I’ve got no interest in mentioning any names, but there was a group talking and I heard the word ‘b–ng’ come up,” Krakouer told the Herald Sun.
“Straight away there were a number of emotions running through me. I was anxious, I was angry, I was annoyed — and in disbelief that I had just heard that in my own workplace and it was my own teammates who were making the racial slurs.
“They were having a bit of a laugh and I walked over and I said, ‘Would you guys mind telling me what is so funny?’
“They tried to sort of laugh it off and say, ‘It’s nothing, mate, don’t worry about it’, and I said, ‘No, actually, I just heard you guys say the word ‘b–ng’ and you’re laughing about it. I want to know what’s so funny’.
“He told me that the word ‘b–ng’ came from back in the day when white Australians used to run over Aboriginal people in their car and that ‘b–ng’ was the sound the car made when it hit them. I was absolutely disgusted.”
Collingwood responds to ‘systemic racism’ finding
Krakouer said he was inspired to speak out by Heritier Lumumba and Leon Davis after the pair came forward with their own stories of racism during their time with the Pies.
Krakouer said he’d shared that story with “only a handful of people” prior to his Herald Sun interview.
Former Collingwood star Daniel Wells is one of 12 people appointed to a special anti-racism group at the club as it takes the next step in stamping the issue of systemic racism out.
According to a Collingwood statement, the anti-racism group will assist the club in developing a “framework for change and ultimately provide community leadership on addressing racism”.
The establishment of an anti-racism group was a key recommendation of the club’s recently released Do Better Report.