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Face it, Eddie is one of the AFL's untouchables

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Eddie McGuire had 'a bad moment'

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley addresses the media at Melbourne airport, describing Eddie McGuire's comment about Swans star Adam Goodes as 'just a bad moment'.

PT0M0S 620 349

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.

Untouchable: Eddie McGuire.

Untouchable: Eddie McGuire. Photo: Ken Irwin

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.

It must at the very least discipline McGuire. Goodes as it stood on Thursday had no intention of further mediation with the Collingwood president given the two had already spoken and McGuire's apology had been reluctantly accepted by the Swans champion.

Goodes told his coach he planned to play on Saturday and believes for now that he has said enough. Most people thought after last Saturday Goodes had said enough for his entire career. McGuire on the other hand has barely stopped talking since his hurtful comment.

If McGuire has escaped lightly in tangible terms, the same cannot be said for Matt Rendell, the former Adelaide recruiting chief who was sacked by the Crows 15 months ago following a private meeting with two AFL officials in which Rendell allegedly invoked a scenario in which only indigenous players with one white parent would be taken by clubs.

Rendell has always denied much of what was attributed to him as well as the tone of the conversation but he was sacked no sooner than the media exposed him.

McGuire has pointed to his strong history fighting indigenous causes; Rendell too could claim that. But he lost his job. That is how it is when you deeply offend members of a race that has been bullied and mistreated and discriminated against for two centuries now.

It is true that McGuire has been publicly pilloried and humiliated - although his discomfort was nothing compared with Goodes, who must continue to demonstrate leadership in a different form at the SCG on Saturday.

But surely the day draws nearer for the AFL to demonstrate the leadership the game expects of it and do so without discriminating against the lesser lights nor favouring the powerful.

449 comments

  • AFL is a bogan sport run by bogans

    Commenter
    HB
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    May 31, 2013, 7:36AM
    • Why does such a lame comment have to the first?

      Yes some people are more equal than others, like McGuire usually as a result of money or position, who would've guessed?

      As a Collingwood supporter I'd like to see Harry O as the next president!

      Commenter
      mattomatic
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:02AM
    • Perfectly stated. Simple...and accurate

      Commenter
      luke r
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:04AM
    • One can only notice the disparity in the way that 13 year old girl and McGuire are being treated. It's truly appalling that Eddie has no penalty to pay. If it were anyone else they'd be on a spit roast.

      Commenter
      bill p
      Location
      L R
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:07AM
    • Racist bogans to boot, apparently.

      McGuire's appallingly inappropriate and offensive comment was utterly idiotic at best and downright nasty at worst. Either way, he's proven he's not fit for prominent leadership positions in the public eye. This story has received international attention, and yet McGuire retains his roles at both FOX FM and Collingwood. This does not reflect well on modern Australian society!

      Commenter
      Spadeboy
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:25AM
    • Thanks HB that's another racist comment. Bogani was the name of the ape in the Tarzan books.

      Commenter
      Gerry Gerry
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:30AM
    • Whats this all about ? To call someone an ape is not racist.This whole affair is a load of PC crap.Sorry don't get it and never will.Go after real racism not what someone perceives is racist.I thought there was free speech in Australia apparently not.To those who are upset about this Get A Life

      Commenter
      Bigdan
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:30AM
    • Hear hear mattomatic.....

      Commenter
      PatLovesThePies
      Location
      Condell Park
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:36AM
    • Well, Australia is a bogan country, populated by bogans. What did you expect?

      Commenter
      Jesterhat
      Location
      Newcastle
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:37AM
    • Yep, this is just another reason why I will just stick to watching the games at the grounds. The AFL has become less about the games and more about making money and looking after the 'old boys club'. They make the rules up as they go and it's turning me off them altogether.

      Commenter
      Ame
      Date and time
      May 31, 2013, 8:37AM

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