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Final, inexplicable insult rubs salt into Swan's raw wounds

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McGuire explains King Kong 'slip of the tongue'

"I wasn't even thinking," says Collingwood president Eddie McGuire after apologising to Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes over his King Kong comment made on live radio.

PT0M0S 620 349

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.

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.

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.

105 comments so far

  • Kudos to Luke Darcy for not getting roped in by Eddie. He could see it straight away.

    Date and time
    May 30, 2013, 12:11AM
    • Indeed! Luke Darcy was thinking with his conscious mind. As Malcolm Gladwell expressed in his 2005 book "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking", racism is endemic in our society, hard wired into our psyche from centuries of hate based conditioning. Eddie simply shifted from his normally high performing conscious mind into the underbelly that most of us carry, but don't like to admit to. His 'Blink' moment is understandable, but is it forgivable in such a prominent public figure? We should all take the opportunity to reflect on our own buried racism, Australia's refugee policy and the state of indigenous Australian's being the most prominent examples.

      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 12:31PM
  • McGuire should resign from his position @Collingwood.......he must be held accountable for his atrocious comment......times are a changin.....just ask Cardinal Pell.....its all about the changing spirit of our times......

    McGuire has bagged many good people in the past and got away with it........he's gettin Karma now.

    Silas Knight
    Date and time
    May 30, 2013, 12:25AM
    • Goodies was wrong. The face of racism in Australia is not a 13yr old girl but Eddie Maguire. You can only imagine the response from Eddie and Dimitrou had it been a player who went out his week and made the same insult. 10 weeks on the sideline. Eddie should cop the same penalty and keep away from collingwood for 10 weeks.

      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 6:56AM
      • I'm a Swans fan and love Adam Goodes and all indigenous players. Adam should stop feeling sorry for himself. He's a strapping big man, an ornament to the game. The girl was a juvenile whose silly behaviour didn't warrant a big adult's overly public chastisement. Goodes' communications should have been private. Her punishment was too onerous for her crime.

        I have been called names for being blonde. My brother insulted for being fat. I've heard people being called white c's women called sluts and on it goes. Can we all get public retribution for these insults? No. The only people getting attention is anyone who is not white or Australian.
        No-one can stop name-calling. It's wrong, it has to be discouraged, but we can't go sooking in a corner every time someone stupid decides to take aim.
        Eddie McGuire isn't a hateful racist, everyone knows that. Be a big boy Adam, come out and say you know it too. Do yourself a favour., stretch out those big shoulders, grow up, and move on..

        Date and time
        May 30, 2013, 6:58AM
        • Uhh, you are blonde and white. What an absolutely ridiculous comment to make. Do you have no concept of the history of racism in this country?

          Date and time
          May 30, 2013, 3:22PM
        • Joanna, I agree.
          I note the comment you may be white and Blonde by Matt
          The fact is, that being called an ape by a 13yo is not offensive to any other nationality, so why is it so suddenly offensive if you are aboriginal.
          Imagine all the cases that could have been by Greeks, Italians and other nationalities in times past!
          This sort of rot, as far as politiaclly correctness has gone, has gone way to far and needs to stop. If it doesn't, no-one will be able to open their mouthes.
          I am NOT a Swans fan BUT I do enjoy watching Adam Goodes when I see he play. He is a great player and should enjoy all the kudos he gets for his football prowess but also needs to get a thicker skin if this has upset him so badly.

          Date and time
          June 02, 2013, 4:29PM
      • Adam Goodes should be offended, not Adam Goodes' race.

        Date and time
        May 30, 2013, 7:03AM
        • Sticks & stones may break my bones... Are these adults? Maybe address child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities before getting so enraged about stupid name-calling.

          Date and time
          May 30, 2013, 7:08AM
          • Thats the best comment I have read in this entire farce. Time to move on and get on with what they do best, throwing a footy around a paddock.

            Lets Get on with it
            Date and time
            May 30, 2013, 12:38PM

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