Eddie McGuire in Goodes King Kong gaffe
Triple M radio host and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire wondered if it would be a good idea to use Adam Goodes to promote a King Kong musical.PT0M0S 620 349
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.
Eddie McGuire. Photo: Pat Scala
''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''.
Discussing with Luke Darcy, on their breakfast radio show on Triple M, a promotion of the King Kong musical, in which an ape's hand was hung from the Eureka Skydeck, 300 metres above the ground.
Darcy said: ''One of the great promos ever was the hand coming out of the Eureka tower. What a great promo that is for King Kong.''
McGuire interjected: ''Get Adam Goodes down for it, you reckon?'' ''No, I wouldn't have thought so,'' was the response from Darcy.
McGuire went on, stumbling over his words: ''You can see them doing that, can't you? Goodesy. You know, the big, not the ape thing, the whole thing … I'm just saying pumping him up and mucking around and that sort of stuff.''
McGuire then went into damage control. He soon rang AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy, Goodes and the Swans to apologise and fronted a packed media conference.
''Adam was really upset. I don't think he felt vilified because he knows me and he said that to me,'' McGuire said.
McGuire said it was a ''slip of a tongue'' and ''it burns me to the core''. He said he understood if indigenous players questioned his stance on equality but said this had been a ''hallmark of his presidency'' and it was ''a cause that I live for''.
''I am not a racist and because I have done a lot of things in the past and I will continue to fight for the cause of equality in Australia,'' he said. ''People don't resign because they make a slip of the tongue. It's as simple as that. If I stood up because I was racially vilifying somebody, not only should I be resigning, I should be sacked.
''I let myself down because I had a slip of the tongue. It was as simple as that but the ramifications are greater than that.'' McGuire had spent Tuesday night at an indigenous-related event.
Asked why he had used Goodes' name, McGuire replied: ''We were talking about how the arm of King Kong was on the building. To be honest I was drifting off, thinking about how [promotional] things used to be done in the old days … it just slipped out.''