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McGuire defends reaction to fan

COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire says he was justified in lambasting a St Kilda supporter for slurs against Magpies recruit Andrew Krakouer.

The supporter was warned by MCG staff on Saturday night after McGuire strongly objected to his criticism of Krakouer, which included reference to the Magpie player's 16-month stint in jail for assault.

McGuire acknowledged the supporter's targeting of the 28-year-old indigenous player was not conclusively racist but insisted it was "a very demeaning way to speak of any person, whether they're black, white or brindle". "The guy's comments were totally out of line and I decided very quickly that it needed remedial action," he told radio station 3AW yesterday. "I don't think yelling out to someone to 'Kick him while he's down' is something we want to have at the football."

McGuire was equivocal about the first comment from the supporter that raised his ire, confirming only that "there was a bit of [reference to Krakouer's] jail history". "I'm not going to guess as to whether his intentions were racist or otherwise. I'm not a mind-reader," he said.

"This guy's retort to me was 'Well, why don't we go down to the Collingwood cheer squad and hear what they're saying about [St Kilda player] Stephen Milne'. That doesn't make it any better."

Collingwood's coach, Mick Malthouse, was last year fined $7500 by the AFL for "aggressive and threatening conduct" for abusing Milne about a now-withdrawn rape charge. McGuire said he counselled Malthouse after the incident, and that he deplored Magpies supporters making similar gibes at Milne.