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Racial controversy threatens to derail Collingwood's season

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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.

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While Eddie McGuire is the man in the hot seat on this occasion, there could yet be collateral damage on the field as well as off it.

The fallout from his inappropriate comments about Adam Goodes could affect Nathan Buckley, for the Magpies coach must now deal with another major issue that has already distracted at least one of his key players.

Buckley will need to ensure Harry O'Brien's mindset is now solely on Friday night's crucial clash against the Brisbane Lions. On Wednesday, it was purely on McGuire.

''I'm extremely disappointed with Eddie's comments and do not care what position he holds,'' O'Brien tweeted. Whack. When was the last time you heard a player say that about his president?

The pair appeared on Fox Footy to talk through their differences and seemed to be on friendly enough terms. But a hallmark of the Magpies' 2010 premiership under Mick Malthouse was the ability to escape unwanted headlines.

In 2010, McGuire made a conscious decision to keep as low a profile as possible, for he did not want the club's focus to veer from its primary aim - securing a flag. Mission accomplished. A year later and the handover from Malthouse to Buckley, with McGuire wedged in the middle, was clearly a distraction as the Magpies lost to Geelong in the grand final.

Buckley is already dealing with several issues. Injuries have decimated his list and several key operators are out of form. Former Sydney coach Paul Roos has even questioned what ''brand'' the team stands for on the field.

And there has been a minor tiff between Dale Thomas and Darren Jolly over the latter's Fairfax Media column about his poor relationship with former Collingwood ruckman Josh Fraser.

Then, in a bid to avoid controversy, club chief executive Gary Pert confirmed Buckley had asked Dayne Beams to delete an angry tweet about Justin Koschitzke's off-the-ball hit on Magpie Jamie Elliott this month.

Buckley, in conjunction with consultants Leading Teams, has worked to extract greater off-field discipline from players, who had been given more freedom under Malthouse. The so-called Brat Pack have been taught some tough lessons - just ask Dane Swan and, this week, Heath Shaw, who Buckley says is one of a few players whose skinfolds are not as they should be.

Suddenly, a bigger storm, involving one of the most prominent names in the country, has enveloped his club.

Buckley must quickly get his men to refocus, otherwise a season that promised so much will hang in the balance.

337 comments

  • I'm sure Eddie was just having a stab at Goodes for all the extra PR work he made him do last weekend.

    Still don't think it's racist, that was just bad humour and I think Goodes would do well to have a bit of a laugh because the message is certainly not coming through to the Australian public this way. It's more of a media circus is all.

    Everybody is sensitive about different things, but everyone has to stand up in the face of insults and should stand up in the face of insults with pride. Racism has a much darker face than this. If we want to educate people about racism and flush it out we're barking up the wrong tree here.

    Commenter
    Welcome To The Jungle
    Date and time
    May 29, 2013, 10:16PM
    • Haha love it mate, "racism has a much darker face than this". You better be careful you don't get labelled a racist for that one :-)

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Toorak
      Date and time
      May 29, 2013, 10:27PM
    • That's rubbish. This was a stab at a crude joke by someone who should know better. The only ape in the room is Eddie.

      I'll be turning the tv off whenever I see his ugly mug that's for sure.

      Collingwood should be ashamed to be associated with him.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      May 29, 2013, 10:29PM
    • Wow.. this comment above showcases the "she'll be right" attitude.. the ol "its just a few silly words..whys everyone making a big deal" standpoint.... well obviously you have no idea on the issue and certainly are not indigenous... the one nation party boat sailed long ago..jump on it n take ed with you..This is racism..there's no levels or "sides" it is what it is..im disappointed to be a pies fan (and an aboriginal aussi) its a disgrace in consideration of the circumstances..

      Commenter
      johno
      Date and time
      May 29, 2013, 10:56PM
    • Sarajane - do you care to apologies for your ugly mug comment?

      Commenter
      Debbie
      Location
      Hawthorn
      Date and time
      May 29, 2013, 11:23PM
    • Pretty sure for years Barry Hall was called an Ape by people...no complaints there. I'm not saying what was said was okay, it certainly is not but let's not shoot people down so easily.

      Commenter
      BarryHall
      Date and time
      May 29, 2013, 11:33PM
    • Funny, Luke Darcy seemed to be onto it right away.

      Commenter
      nkelly
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 12:01AM
    • The circus is down at the Collingwood Football Club, not in the media. The jibe made would have been "bad humour" standing around the average backyard BBQ. On national radio playing up to a thirteen year olds misguided antics and clearly directing the "joke" at Goodes is more than just incompetency. It is a mindset. Eddies apology had all the hallmarks of George Pell's attempt at excusing and justifying woeful decisions that he has made at the helm of his organisation. There must be a managerial resource book called "Eight and in Trouble.....How to tell Mum and Dad"
      As for the "darker face of racism"( I presume that was a pun?) this is it. Having our senior executives and leaders behave in this fashion only gives the unruly in society the tools to justify even more extreme behaviour. Dark shadows are cast from above. No one is "barking up the wrong tree" in this instance. There's a nut at the top.

      Commenter
      David
      Location
      vic
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 12:06AM
    • This casual racism is constantly perpetuated by the football media who continue to use AFL's Mark Williams nickname. Don't try to justify it by saying its because he likes chocolate. On another front, isn't the Ranga reference that we use in almost daily parlance a reference to Orangutan's, not a mere shortening of the word orange? With apology to the redheads out there, I'm reasonably sure it's a comparison to one of the great apes. Most wouldn't hesitate to lean over the fence and call a red head a Ranga, but would rightly criticise any reference to another ape if the person had black hair and darker skin. Racism is abhorrent, but there are degrees of it. The stuff we should be truly outraged about is the malicious variety - that's the stuff the media should be all over.
      Caro - whom I'm sure finds racism as abhorrent as the next person - lives for moments like today's gaffe by Eddie. It's the biggest story in football. Perhaps the team she leads may wish to refrain from calling Mark Williams "Choco" and Lingy a "Ranga".

      Commenter
      Westgarth Farmer
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 12:10AM
    • Ranga's were never victims of genocide, there's a slight difference.

      But if a Collingwood player had said this on the field, he would have been taken off, banned, and probably stood down.

      The same should happen to Eddie.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      May 30, 2013, 12:59AM

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Related Coverage

Eddie McGuire apologises for Goodes gaffe (Thumbnail) 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.

Eddie McGuire in Goodes King Kong gaffe (Thumbnail) 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.

Slip or a slur, McGuire enrages Swans

If Adam Goodes was devastated at the MCG last Friday night then by Wednesday morning he was as angry as some of his friends had seen him.

Eddie offers to stand aside

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.

McGuire believes he can go on

Eddie McGuire believes he has done enough to avoid sanction under the AFL’s racial and religious vilification process that he faces because of his controversial comments about dual Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes.

Buckley, Collingwood board back McGuire

The board members of the Collingwood football club, and coach Nathan Buckley, have thrown their full support behind embattled president Eddie McGuire.

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