If Swans veteran Adam Goodes was devastated at the MCG last Friday night then by Wednesday morning he was as angry as some of his friends had ever seen him.
Goodes had been shocked to see the face of racism in a 13-year-old girl but words could not describe his response to another racial slur delivered from the mouth of one of the biggest names in football, from the man who had so strongly supported him following Friday's incident. After learning Collingwood president Eddie McGuire had suggested Goodes could be used to promote the King Kong stage show, the Sydney champion communicated that fact to his coach John Longmire.
Goodes' sadness and fatigue were reflected in the face of his coach, who said he remained ''staggered'' at McGuire's remarks. On Saturday after Goodes had publicly opened his heart to explain the pain of racial bullying and verbal humiliation, Longmire had sent his player a text message.
Unwanted attention: Adam Goodes. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui
''Some people are given the chance to make a difference,'' Longmire told Goodes, ''but very few actually do so.''
Swans chairman Richard Colless described Friday night and Saturday morning as the AFL's Martin Luther King moment, and expressed his dismay that McGuire had undone the good part he had played in it.
Of McGuire, Longmire said on Wednesday: ''He saw first-hand how upset Adam was. I just can't believe he said it.''
Sorry: Eddie McGuire. Photo: Pat Scala
Collingwood star Harry O'Brien criticised his president on social media, and the AFL will now discipline McGuire under its racial vilification rules. McGuire's breakfast radio insult took the best part of the day to officially resolve but not before some more unfortunate missteps. A long series of conversations took place between Sydney chiefs, Goodes and McGuire along with AFL boss Andrew Demetriou, who initially grossly underplayed the impact of McGuire's comments.
McGuire told Goodes he had not meant what he said, that his dreadful remark had come as a result of fatigue, a slip of the tongue that he had immediately tried to correct.
Goodes found the apology disappointing but ultimately accepted it more in a bid to end what had become for him a thoroughly exhausting and draining experience.
And McGuire: ''It has cut me to the core,'' he said during an overlong and occasionally messy press conference. ''I put my foot in it. I'm happy to cop any criticism. I could not be more sorry.''
Goodes chose to remain silent on this occasion, and who could blame him. Not once but three times, to his knowledge, has he been racially vilified over the past six days - first by a 13-year-old girl, then by a Collingwood fan who also directed slurs at his teammate Lewis Jetta and then inexplicably by McGuire.
The first two were not defended but portrayed as victims by the Magpies, and some sympathy was even directed in McGuire's direction from GWS coach Kevin Sheedy.
Asked if he felt sorry for McGuire, Sheedy said: ''Sorry? A little bit, yeah. Goodesy's a person everybody loves and respects … In the end, I think this is a brain fail, for sure.''
The view from the clearly angry and shocked Swans was they had heard enough excuses. Goodes' club, at least, was crystal clear on who the true victim was here.