A defiant Eddie McGuire says he is determined to make amends for his dire on-air clanger racially vilifying Adam Goodes, and said he was willing to stand aside as Collingwood president while the AFL’s process unfolded.
He said he would ask the Collingwood board members whether they thought that was an appropriate step. He also said he would ‘‘take a spell’’ from his various media commitments if required.
‘‘I’ll talk to the guys about it. I’ll speak to the board. The board have said to me today we know what you’re doing,’’ he said on Fox Footy’s AFL360.
‘‘I’ll work it out with other people tomorrow, I’ve just got to get through today to be honest. If that’s appropriate, if that’s symbolic, if that makes a difference, then I will. I have no problem with that.
‘‘I have no problem if Triple M said have a spell, if Fox Footy said you know what we don’t want you to be the face of footy this weekend, maybe have a spell.
‘‘I would happily do that and I’d cop that blemish on my impeccable record in that regard to make the point.
‘‘There’s no ducking around or anything else, it is what it is. I’m enternally disappointed and sorry on what happened and I will make amends. I will make amends, I promise you I will make amends.’‘
McGuire also offered to resign from his position as the chairman of the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre, an offer that Long rejected.
McGuire had inexplicably suggested Goodes could be used to promote the musical King Kong just days after a 13-year-old girl hurled the racist slur of ‘‘ape’’ at Goodes during the match between the Magpies and Swans at the MCG on Friday. McGuire had been praised for his handling of that issue, but undid all the good work on his Triple M breakfast show on Wednesday.
Swans chairman Richard Colless and coach John Longmire were bewildered by McGuire’s comments, while it is understood that Goodes has reluctantly accepted McGuire’s apology.
‘‘I think a slip of the tongue is probably one word mispronounced. This was actually a few sentences,’’ Colless said. ‘‘It wasn’t even funny. Being funny, you might have been able to make the case. It was [a] very sort of ham-fisted comment that really you would have thought only an amateur who hadn’t read the papers over the weekend would have been able to make.’‘
The AFL has said McGuire will be put through the league’s racial and religious vilification counselling process.
One of the most savage responses to McGuire came from Magpies backman Harry O’Brien, who admonished his president, declaring he was ‘‘extremely disappointed’‘. ‘‘In my opinion race relations in this country is systematically a national disgrace,’’ he said. McGuire later apologised to O’Brien and the pair appeared together on AFL360 to further discuss the issue of ‘‘unintended racism’‘.