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Gillon McLachlan on Conor McKenna, Heritier Lumumba and John Kennedy Snr

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says he is concerned by Heritier Lumumba’s experience at Collingwood.

It comes amid an internal investigation at the club after Lumumba alleged a culture of racism (several players have confirmed claims his nickname was ‘chimp’ at the club).

Speaking with Neil Mitchell, McLachlan said there was clearly some sort of problem that needed addressing.

“We want all of our players to have a positive experience in football and clearly Heritier didn’t have that,” McLachlan said.

“For me, that’s an issue.”

He said the AFL was willing to play whatever role it could in resolving the matter.

“We haven’t always got it right in the past, but we are listening and learning and will do whatever we can to stamp out racism and hold people to account who are hurting individuals in our community,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AFL chief said it was important to “clear a few things up” about Conor McKenna’s recent positive COVID-19 test.

“We don’t know when it (infection) was but there’s a chance it was from some time ago and there’s still some level of remnants in his system at very low levels,” McLachlan said.

“He tested negative five times, he tested positive twice at very low levels, and now he’s negative again.

“People will work through what that means and there’ll be further testing and blood work but he definitely was positive and will go through 14 days, his close contact has been isolated and that’s what we know today.”

He also touched on the death of AFL icon John Kennedy Snr, revealing he was lucky enough to be the person who told Kennedy he was being elevated to legend status in the Hall of Fame recently.

“It was an honour, really,” McLachlan said.

“I was pretty fortunate.”

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