Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer fighting racism at the Pies

"This is a community issue, a nation-wide issue and ultimately a world issue and we must do better to stop racism"

Former Magpies Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer have returned to the Collingwood Football Club, marking a resolution to racism both players experienced in their playing careers at the club.

Leon and Andrew recently shared, following their retirement from footy, their horrific experiences of racism with representatives from the Club Board.

Both former players are committed to making a difference and being involved in the Club's Truth-Telling Program. The program is a process to more deeply understand their experiences and the impacts racism has had on their lives to inform ongoing cultural change at the club better.

Leon has been employed by the club full time to assist with its commitment to building a culturally safe environment for all staff and players, whilst Andrew too will be employed to help support this.

Club President Jeff Browne said the club is appreciative to Leon and Andrew for sharing their experiences of racism and the impact it has had on them.

"The Collingwood Football Club remains absolutely committed to listening and learning from all players and staff - past and present - to ensure past mistakes are not repeated," Mr Browne said.

"Racism is never ok, and we will continue to listen and learn from both former players - we apologise for the racism they both suffered - and we look forward to their input which will be invaluable to the club.

"The hurt racism causes runs deeper than the individuals involved, so I want to thank both Leon and Andrew for speaking up about their experiences - it can be incredibly difficult for people who experience racism to share it and speak about it.

"We are extremely grateful to have Leon and Andrew reconnecting and returning to the club as employees to help continue to embed the cultural learning and practices across all 156 athletes in our club, our staff and the wider Collingwood community, and we look forward to having them commence in those roles immediately.

"As a club, to go back and reflect on where we got things wrong, and to understand the perspective of the persons who have been impacted, is vitally important."

Club Chief Executive Officer Mark Anderson thanked Leon and Andrew for their courage after sharing their experiences with the club.

"On behalf of everyone at Collingwood, we welcome Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer back at their club in positions that will impact our Truth-Telling and help make us better," Mr Anderson said.

"The conversations and discussions with Leon and Andrew will be ongoing, and we remain absolutely determined to eliminate racism to create a better, safer and more respectful environment on and off the football field at all times.

"What's really important is we learn from our history, and one of the learnings from the Do Better Report is we may not be able to fix what someone went through from the past but view it as an opportunity to learn - that is what we are trying to do here.

"As we enter this next phase of embedding the Do Better recommendations across our club, we are pleased to have Leon and Andrew provide their expertise and cultural insights to the work and programs that have been established.

Leon Davis said: "Firstly, I want to pay my respects to my ancestors, my elders and all my First Nations peoples across our country and to be generations before me that laid the foundation for me to continue the fight for our people.

"I have shared that I have experienced instances of racism in my playing days. Unfortunately, these instances weren't my first, as I have experienced racism from a very young age. So too, have members of my family and hearing my father's stories of racism and what he experienced is something that drives me to make change and ensure we all do better.

"This is a community issue, a nation-wide issue and ultimately a world issue, and we must do better to stop racism. I am pleased to have a role where I am now encouraged to implement and drive cultural change and know I have the full support of all those at the club in doing so.

"I want to use my experiences of racism to better educate the community and better equip everyone with the knowledge, tools and education around our country's true history and why we still face the issued we do in today's society.

"We have the oldest living culture in the world, and I encourage everyone to take it upon themselves to delve into that and to learn more about it.

"I'm pleased to be back."

Andrew Krakouer said: "I am looking forward to starting this journey with the Collingwood Football Club.

"I echo Leon's words, and like him, I feel I have a role to play in football and in the wider Australian community to educate people to eradicate and stamp out racism.

"I want my children to grow in an environment where there are no barriers to achieving success. I want my community to be strong and to be proud, and I want the game of Australian Football - the game I love - to be welcoming of First Nations people at all times, on and off the field and in the stands.

"I want us to keep striving to be better."