A rest would do Eddie the world of good

Dan Lonergan Columnist

By Dan Lonergan, Dan Lonergan is a Roar Expert

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    Eddie McGuire has gone from being in ice water to hot water. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham)

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    After his off the cuff remark on his radio show on Wednesday, Eddie McGuire has taken a pounding from the public and rightly so as it was in poor taste and especially poor timing.

    McGuire had been responding to his on-air partner Luke Darcy’s comments that the hand coming out of Melbourne’s famous Eureka Tower would be a great promo for King Kong that they could get Adam Goodes for it

    He had done so much to right the wrongs of last Friday when a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter called Goodes an “ape” late in the match against the Swans.

    Goodes as we now know was shattered by that slur and left the ground before the siren. McGuire straight away made his way into Sydney’s rooms to chat with Goodes and apologise for what happened.

    In a column I wrote on Monday, I outlined the importance of Eddie doing that as he had to protect his club’s image after doing so much during his 14-year reign as President to make the Magpies arguably the most professional club in the competition.

    However, his radio remark has undone much of that goodwill, eventhough Goodes has accepted his apology.

    There didn’t need to be an apology, because the remark shouldn’t have been made and Eddie realises that.

    Understandably, he looked shattered and wrecked when fronting the media at a press conference that wasn’t his most convincing performance, and then later on the respected AFL 360 footy news program.

    He appeared to have had enough, but knew as a high profile part of the footy media for the best part of 30 years, he had to face the medicine and take the heat.

    Much of which came from one of his players at Collingwood, Harry O’Brien, who is half Brazilian and had asked to appear on AFL 360 with him.

    Like all of us, O’Brien knows McGuire isn’t a racist and that it was a clumsy mistake, but there are no excuses and he is right.

    McGuire has been around long enough in this industry to know what you can and can’t say when the microphone is on and the camera is rolling.

    The Collingwood president, who has received the backing of his board to continue in the role has cited being tired for making the comment about Goodes and King Kong and that he was half-engaged in the conversation.

    The tired excuse can’t wash and if you are only half listening or just partially involved in a topic, isn’t the key to say nothing, especially a delicate issue like that which has dominated the footy landscape for most of that week?

    It’s not surprising the Collingwood board is in favour of him staying as president if he can, but can is the operative word as he will be and rightly so investigated by the AFL and dealt with as part of their racial vilification code.

    He could be forced to stand down as president while that process occurs.

    He said on his radio program on Triple M on Thursday after a gruelling and fascinating three hours that he had planned to cancel all commitments that day and go home.

    That is probably the best thing he could do in what had become an horrific 24 hours for him. He has so much on his plate and not too many people live a life as full as McGuire’s, so maybe it’s time for a rest.

    Unfortunately He can’t take that comment back and as he said he will accept his right whack for a stupid error, but as mentioned earlier he said being zoned out and tired played a part in him making the remark.

    This might be a simple suggestion but by recharging the batteries not for a day but for a week or so or longer wouldn’t hurt.

    Eddie no doubt is hurting and will for a long time. The Swans and Goodes as expected are furious with him and he understands that the whole footy fraternity is disappointed with him. Mind you!

    It would be fair to say that no one is more disappointed than McGuire himself, although the mixed messages from the press conference has let him down somewhat.

    We keep saying the action on the field has stepped up this year and it’s a fabulous season, but it keeps being overshadowed by controversies off the ground.

    Eddie McGuire has broken thousands of football stories over the years and in recent times, the shoe has been on the other foot regarding his footy club being in the news for often the wrong reasons.

    However, Wednesday was even foreign territory for him. He will recover, but maybe some time out of the spotlight if possible would aid the healing process.

    Dan Lonergan
    Dan Lonergan

    Dan Lonergan is one Australia's most respected and versatile commentators. In more than 16 years on ABC Grandstand he has covered AFL footy (including four Grand Finals), cricket, tennis, and three Olympic Games, including London 2012 where he commentated 16 sports.

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    The Crowd Says (88)

    • May 31st 2013 @ 2:42am
      jonesy said | May 31st 2013 @ 2:42am | ! Report

      Eddie Everywhere is currently the dumbest member of the Aussie media and boy, is that saying something. What was he thinking? Aussie sporting commentators in particular always see the need to try and be ‘funny’ with every word they say. As an expat living in DC, technology now allows me to listen to MMM’s Friday night football call for the NRL as I drive to work on Friday mornings. Wendell Sailor and Gordon Tallis, both identites I like, try and be humorous with every word they say. Just call the game, save your in house jokes and other rubbish chat for the pub after your call.

      • May 31st 2013 @ 8:48am
        Kasey said | May 31st 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        The best piece I have read thus far:

        ” Racism? We don’t get it, because there are no consequences for being an ignorant, smug @rsehole in this country.
        Had Eddie McGuire made his King Kong remark on US radio, he would not work in the American mainstream media again. Game over, Ed. Buy a yacht.
        If NSW State of Origin NRL assistant coach Andrew Johns had called an opponent on another team “a black c—” in American sport, he’d first have been knocked out by the closest black player and may now, possibly, be coaching some high school team in Alabama while nursing a prescription drug addiction.”
        “I’m not suggesting violence is the best response to racism – whether that racism is casual, unintentional or sharpened to puncture hearts like so much of the muck we read from white apologist news commentators.
        I’m saying we need to get real about punishing it.
        We went close to destroying an ancient, unique people. I have no problem with destroying a few media careers when they fail to recognise that horrific legacy”

        read more at the link provided above

        • May 31st 2013 @ 11:06am
          Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          so Kasey, you want to rub out Eddie McGuire and Andrew Johns for one mistkae? Could you imagine if everyone in the workforce was rubbed out for one mistake, no one would be working. Tolerance is needed. Apologies were given and should be accepted, especially if it not a repeat offender. People like to throw stones without looking into their own backyard first.

          • May 31st 2013 @ 11:13am
            Kasey said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            I’m saying that Eddie should do more than just apologise and expect everybody to move on to the next ‘beat up’ If I screw up at work, I get punished…whether that’s a temporary stand-down and/or a mandatory training session? That’s up to my bosses. I’m saying here that once again Eddie seems to have escaped any sanction because the AFL don’t want to cause any trouble with their meal ticket (Collingwood). Caroline Wilson says it today when she says, imagine if it had been Fremantle or StKilda’s president rather than Eddie? This is not the first time the AFL has used a 2 standards approach in its efforts. As an aside, was the 13 year old grl alloweed to just apologise and move on? Her name and image were published in the public sphere meaning the consequences of her actions are likely ongoing still.

            • May 31st 2013 @ 11:46am
              Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

              The treatment of that 13 year old girl was a disgrace the media and alot of people on this website. They should all be embarrassed.

              • May 31st 2013 @ 10:05pm
                Ken said | May 31st 2013 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

                Absolutely agree. It was a storm in a teacup and Goodes behaved like a sook.

              • June 1st 2013 @ 4:03pm
                Deep Thinker said | June 1st 2013 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                It was fair enough that Goodes is offended by a comment like that. Calling him a sook is just plain flippant and a bit of a cop out to point the finger at him.

                But just because he was offended doesn’t mean that the 13 year old girl should have been treated like she has either. What has been going on has been effectively cyber bullying on a national scale. Very poor form and anyone who has disparaged her online should pull their head in. Goodes certainly didn’t want that to happen.

          • May 31st 2013 @ 1:51pm
            Franko said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

            TS – It’s not a once of for either of them. Their boorish behaviour has been known for a while.
            Johns: *Caught* carrying ecstacy in London, and according to Tahu, Johns has been using that language since he was 18.
            McGuire: Homophobic comments at the olympics, land of falafel comments and now this.

            The thing that gets me is, this is what we know. This is what they have been *caught* doing. This only gives a glimpse as to what their real behaviour must be like.

          • May 31st 2013 @ 4:10pm
            cuzza said | May 31st 2013 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

            Top Secret, surely you jest mentioning Eddie and Andrew Johns in the same sentence. Eddie was a comedic attempt gone horribly wrong, albeit, still racial vilifacation. Andrew John’s comment was a disgraceful hurtful comment that had no basis whatsoever. How he is still in the media is beyond me.

    • May 31st 2013 @ 6:31am
      Darwin Stubbie said | May 31st 2013 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      what a puff piece … McGuire couldn’t have written it better himself

      • May 31st 2013 @ 8:40am
        Kasey said | May 31st 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report


        Remember though, even if Eddie Everywhere took a sabatical from being el presidente along with a 12 month break from MMM and TV, the media would still chase him for comment as Australia’s most high-profile Magpies fan…plenty of opportunity to stick his other foot in it.

    • May 31st 2013 @ 6:47am
      GoGWS said | May 31st 2013 @ 6:47am | ! Report

      I’m the last person to stick up for McGuire but in this case I do think he’s being treated pretty harshly… Eddy was trying (lamely) to be humorous by linking a high profile controversy to the promotion of a play…it’s almost more a crime against comedy than a crime against Goodes. If there had been no incident between Goodes and the girl then of course that quip wouldn’t have even entered Eddy’s mind…

      Yes what matters more than anything is how the statement is received (by Goodes and other aboriginal players) not how Eddy intended it….Goodes is gutted so Eddy cops a wack, and deserves to cop it…Eddy took the risk and now gets what he gets…but we could imagine a situation where Goodes took it differently and just responded by realising that Eddy is not very funny, and often says lame things when he;s trying to ad-lib…. Dennis Commetti he is not….

      As for apes in the AFL ..well there are a few apes running around and they aren’t the aboriginal players… on facebook I floated a name of a certain collingwood player who i think has a very unusual ape-like running style and demeanour. I got plenty of ‘likes’ for that comment so I’m obviously not the only one who has noticed…

      • May 31st 2013 @ 11:10am
        Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Besides the last strange paragraph that i didnt really understand or care to understand, the first two paragraphs here are spot on. Clearly McGuire didnt try to have a go at Goodes but tried to be funny, and wasnt. He stuffed up, admitted his mistake and has copped it on the chin. Everyone just wants to knock people when they are down.

        • May 31st 2013 @ 12:50pm
          GoGWS said | May 31st 2013 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

          I also think there’s an element of self-flagellation going on here because we (society) haven’t really adequately addressed racism… Tony Abbott says a few sexist things and we all cringe and just shake our heads and realise that that’s Tony’s 1950s attitude to women – and women (and everyone) just shrug comments like that as revealing just how stupid/backward Abbott really is… Here Eddy has made a lame joke which nobody, probably not even Goodes, thinks actually reveals him to be a racist or to be inciting racism…and yet the sky has fallen in (apparently).

          The AFL has a process to deal with this issue and McGuire will take his medicine…I think everyone else should calm down a bit and see this for what it is, a silly comment amongst many other silly comments made all the time by public people …

          • Roar Guru

            May 31st 2013 @ 1:04pm
            Richard said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

            Yeah, I don’t actually think this is about racism. What’s racist after all about calling someone an ‘ape’. If the comment had referred to the colour of the ape, then racist it would be. But calling someone an ape, or a boofhead, or a whinger, or a ponce isn’t racist per se. But it is insulting, it is vilification, it is offensive. This is not about racism, but it is about respect for others and about sensitivity to the sensitivity of others.

            Racism is not the preserve of white anglo saxons. But racsim is unacceptable in our society because we want to live in a society which has respect for everyone. Being offensive is unacceptable for the same reason.

            • May 31st 2013 @ 3:45pm
              dockersfan said | May 31st 2013 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

              The racist part of ape comes from the 150 years of history we have in Australia where by the white population treated and referred to the indigenious population as an unevolved sub-species of human that weren’t fit to mix or vote or hold any sort of power in our society. We seem to have forgotten very quickly that the first Aboriginal allowed to vote was 1967. They fought in wars for our country and yet they weren’t good enough to have a say?
              I am like a lot of people in that I hadn’t realised how hurtful our casual racism was, but in the last couple of years my eyes have been opened. Lets stop being ignorant and start opening our eyes – our intention when we say something isn’t important, it’s the people that hear what we say that’s important.

            • June 1st 2013 @ 4:12pm
              Deep Thinker said | June 1st 2013 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              It was clearly a racist comment but it came from a person who is not a racist. It was an off the cuff joke in poor taste that didn’t pay off for Eddie on this occasion. We’ve all been there. There was no malice. Unfortunately for Eddie and Adam Goodes and the 13 year old girl he made the comment live on television.

              Taking a step back from all this hysteria, I can’t help but see a funny side to all of this. I guess I’m a bad person LOL. It has also made me really interested in seeing King Kong.

          • May 31st 2013 @ 10:07pm
            Ken said | May 31st 2013 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

            Sorry – how did Abbott get in here? He has a female chief of staff, no ‘backward’ or ‘sexist’ man would ever entertain that idea.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 31st 2013 @ 12:59pm
          Matt Man said | May 31st 2013 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          He still gets away with it. The media will soon move on and everybody will get to see and hear Eddie’s smugness once again. Hooray!

          • May 31st 2013 @ 1:06pm
            GoGWS said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            Has he really gotten away with it?… I don’t think so.. This will be remembered. …and it’s not something worthy of him being tossed aside as a commentator. Of course he should resume his commentating and other media…personally I prefer other AFL commentators but I wouldn’t like to see him get the chop, and I suspect even Goodes would think that was overkill… Harry o’brien has rebuked mcGuire but even he isn’t calling for his head.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 31st 2013 @ 1:17pm
              Matt Man said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

              Fronting the media with a tearful apology. I wish I could get away with things by appearing contrite. People will remember of course, but he’ll still be president and media personality without any consequence.

              • May 31st 2013 @ 1:32pm
                Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                so what do you want Matt. Him to be sacked from his jobs and stand down as president. Would that make you happy to see him suffer?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 31st 2013 @ 1:47pm
                Matt Man said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                Not necessarily sacked, but certainly suspended from his roles. It just looks like his actions are ultimately condoned. For many people, offering an apology is a convenient out of a messy situation. I remember kids at school continually getting in trouble because they knew the only consequence was just to say sorry. If David Morrow cops it sweet for what he thought was an off-air remark, how does it justify the behaviour of a high-profile and publicity-driven Maguire?

      • May 31st 2013 @ 9:01pm
        Floyd Calhoun said | May 31st 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

        Fair points.

    • May 31st 2013 @ 8:18am
      deanp said | May 31st 2013 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      teeing off on poor Eddie is just a way for some to ease their guilty white consciences. It’s just too easy really ,and given the deplorable living conditions and health outcomes of the indigenous populations, it’s nothing more than a cowardly cop out.

      • May 31st 2013 @ 10:55am
        Milz said | May 31st 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report


      • May 31st 2013 @ 1:47pm
        fishes said | May 31st 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        “poor Eddie”, as Mick Malthouse has said, Eddie is not the victim here. of course other indigenous issues are important but it doesn’t excuse the distrubing fact that mainstream racism is accepted in the country so easily.

    • May 31st 2013 @ 8:44am
      John 360180 said | May 31st 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      To my mind the girl had no idea of the significance of what she said and she was villified her life has been turned on its head.
      Eddie should have been fully aware of the significance of what he said and looks like he will escape with a slap on the wrist.

      • May 31st 2013 @ 11:11am
        Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        The girl got hammered by all of the heros who have never made a mistake in their lives before. Those people should be embarrassed with themselves.

    • May 31st 2013 @ 9:50am
      Chairman Kaga said | May 31st 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Am a mad Carlton supporter and am loving the heat on the Collingwood president but even I think this witch hunt by the tall poppy cutters has gone a bit too far.

      Who has not said anything inappropriate? Even the most pious of men commits any number of sins each and everyday. Remember those words my fellow hypocrits.

      Lesson should be learn’t don’t say snide comments, whether that be about someone in your office who is fat, has big ears, is too pretty(yes you ladies, who are the worst at attacking your own gender) we could go on and on. Just be kind.

      Give this witch hunt a rest, how would you like it if everyone was unforgiving when you stuff up?

      • May 31st 2013 @ 10:26am
        Kev said | May 31st 2013 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        My thoughts exactly. If putting your foot in your mouth was enough to get you fired then everyone would have been fired at some stage in their career. Personally I can’t stand McGuire and his two faced stance on many issues but even I think that the reaction to this is over the top. Yes it was unacceptable but he’s apologized for it so get over it and move on. Or is telling people to get over it going to get me labelled a racist as well?

        • May 31st 2013 @ 11:14am
          Top Secret said | May 31st 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          Whoa two people filled with common sense. Thank goodness for Çhainman Kaga’and ‘Kev’. REalising that people actually make mistakes and if you man up, apologize and cop it on the chin, you can really do no more. Thank goodness for these two people who have spoken logically and well. Thanks.

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