If Eddie McGuire’s mindless and zoned-out media moment taught us anything then surely the obvious lesson is that some individuals in this great game remain greater than the game itself.
Offering one’s resignation has become something of a habit for club chiefs during this tumultuous and scandal-ridden AFL season, but there was no better bet than McGuire on Thursday winning the backing of his board and the endorsement of league chief Andrew Demetriou.
The AFL chief executive admitted he had spoken too soon in playing down the hurtful racist remark aimed at Adam Goodes on Triple M breakfast radio early on Wednesday, but the fact remained that Demetriou’s default position was to defend McGuire.
Collingwood will not suspend McGuire any more than Essendon will stand down James Hird. Had McGuire’s name been Greg Westaway (St Kilda) or Steve Harris (Fremantle) he would have stepped down by now at the very least pending a racial vilification charge - which Demetriou confirmed for McGuire on Thursday.
Had Matthew Knights, not Hird, overseen the pharmacologically experimental program at Essendon, never adequately checked nor controlled and which still sees players not fully aware of what they have taken and facing bans from anti-doping authorities, then he would be finished.
But Hird is too big and has chosen to place himself above his club, believing himself now to be its saviour. Only the AFL has the strength to take on the Essendon legend but the prevailing view is that the league too remains beholden to the court of public opinion.