Former Collingwood player Heritier Lumumba and club president Eddie McGuire (Images: AAP)

In 1995, Michael Long was playing for Essendon against Collingwood. His opponent, Damian Monkhorst, was heard to shout at him to “get off me, you little black cunt".

Long complained. And, after two weeks of defensive posturing from the entire AFL organism, Monkhorst apologised.

Collingwood’s then-president Alan McAlister denied that his club had any problem with racism. McAlister had distinguished himself two years earlier when Nicky Winmar, playing against Collingwood, famously lifted his shirt to the Magpies’ faithful who had been throwing racist abuse at him all game, and pointed to his black skin with pride. McAlister’s public response was that Aboriginal players were welcome at Collingwood “as long as they conduct themselves like white people”.