Eddie McGuire has declared that Monday was a ‘proud and historic day’ for the Collingwood Football Club in a press conference, just hours after an independent report found that the club was guilty of perpetuating systemic racism within the AFL community was leaked.
Speaking with the media this afternoon alongside other board members including club CEO Mark Anderson, McGuire’s truly crook comments in response to the report’s damning findings have received immediate backlash from a swathe of footy fans, including Magpies members.
McGuire – who announced during the off-season that he would be stepping down at the end of the 2021 season after 22 years – said the club should take pride in the fact it is “standing for something significant in this area” after apparently spending the last few years taking “a deep dive” into how the club can make itself better as a leader in the footy community.
Asked whether this is a humbling day for him, Collingwood President Eddie McGuire says it’s a ‘day of pride’. A report has uncovered systemic racism at the AFL Club. @abcnews
— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) February 1, 2021
Throughout the conference, where McGuire was determined to reiterate that the report and its findings about the culture of racism at the Collingwood club was a good thing, actually, he made comments about the club’s progress in diversity – which have not landed well with the wider sporting community.
He noted that the report wasn’t just about Indigenous issues within the club, but it covered all aspects of diversity and inclusion.
“This is not just an Indigenous report,” he said.
“This is about multicultural [sic], this is about gender, it’s about equality in all ways, shapes, and forms.
“The captain of our netball team is Geva Mentor – a British woman with a Jamaican father. We have West Indian players in our netball team. We have Asian players in our women’s team. We have the son of a Ghanaian man playing in the Collingwood team.”
Yikes, not sure if that’s it, chief.
McGuire then doubled-down on how diverse the club is, further stressing the diversity of the netball team in truly the worst way possible.
“In our netball team, we have Asian people coming through the organisation,” he said.
McGuire also claimed that Collingwood bid on four Indigenous players in the last AFL draft, which has been questioned by many who were sure that the club only bid on two Indigenous players in the 2020 draft – Lachie Jones and Blake Coleman.
McGuire says Collingwood bid on four Indigenous players in the 2020 draft, which is not right. They bid on two: Lachie Jones and Blake Coleman.
— Daniel Cherny ???? (@DanielCherny) February 1, 2021
After these comments, many critics and supporters of Collingwood have expressed their upset with McGuire, questioning why he hasn’t just called time early and stood down from his position as club president.
Eddie McGuire is emblematic of Collingwood’s issues and they will not change under his leadership no matter how many internal reviews and ‘proud’ days the club has
— lex (@lex577) February 1, 2021
Eddie McGuire listing the people of colour in Collingwood's footy and netball teams has big 'I'm not racist because I have friends who are people of colour' energy.
— Dani Brown (@itsdanibrown) February 1, 2021
eddie mcguire spoke today like a man who has never faced consequences for any of his actions before in his life and that’s bc he hasn’t
— andie (@anndeejam) February 1, 2021
His comments have also inspired people to look back on his own resumé of rancid remarks, including the time in 2013 when he said Adam Goodes should be used to promote the King Kong musical, or when he said he’d pay $50,000 to see sports journalist Caroline Wilson held under freezing water in 2016, or when he called the whole of Western Sydney “the land of the falafel” in 2011 during the formation of the Greater Western Sydney team.
Eddie McGuire up there sweating like Mayor Quimby pic.twitter.com/pJyedGYRxC
— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) February 1, 2021
That just about sums it up, yeah.