Eddie McGuire apologises for "joke" about journalist Caroline Wilson. But she's not having a bar of it.

In the wake of immense backlash, radio host and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has this morning said his comments about drowning Fairfax football journalist Caroline Wilson were all just “banter”, that he was just “cracking gags” at her expense.

But Wilson isn’t having a bar of it.

She told 3AW this morning that she thinks McGuire crossed a line, that the language he used was nothing short of “vicious”.

“I think he gets away with a lot because people are scared of him,” she told the station. “And because I occasionally take him to task and stand up to him, he doesn’t like it.”

The controversial comments were made by McGuire, North Melbourne president James Brayshaw and former St Kilda captain Danny Frawleyon radio last Monday, while discussing the “Big Freeze at the G”, an event in which celebrities slide into icy water to raise money for motor neurone disease.

“In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year,” McGuire said. “Caroline Wilson. And I’ll put in 10 grand straight away — make it 20. And, if she stays under, 50.”

“What do you reckon guys? Who else is up there? I know you’re in JB,” he said to James Brayshaw.

Brayshaw replied: “No, yep, straight in.”

Frawley then said, “I’ll be in amongst it Ed.”

“I’ll actually jump in and make sure she doesn’t — I’ll hold her under, Ed.”

Wilson suggested McGuire’s comments were in part a backlash against a recent opinion piece, in which she suggested that he should consider a succession plan for the presidency of the Collingwood Football Club.

“He was clearly very unhappy with the column. I think he feels that I burnt him,” she told 3AW. “I would hope that any journo, male or female, can write without fear or favour and not get that sort of stuff in return.”


Wilson also expressed concern that it took a week for anyone to express their outrage over the comments.

“I’ve got to say, it doesn’t really say much for the Triple M audience that this only came out over the weekend,” she said. “The people listening at the time thought it was okay.”

“I wonder how many times we have to draw this line in the sand… between what is a joke and what is obviously unacceptable.”

McGuire went on television this morning to respond to the controversy, telling The Today Show that the comments weren’t meant to be sexist or to promote violence against women.

“I’m sorry that’s how it was perceived… Anything that can be perceived to promulgate domestic violence is abhorrent, full stop,” he said.

McGuire said violence against women should be talked about the same way the road toll is.

“There’s still one woman every week being murdered, as I said before. I mean, we should have that as a ticker, like the road toll, to jolt us into understanding of what the situation is with domestic violence.”

Frawley has also apologised.

“Last Monday, on radio I made a couple of insensitive, inappropriate remarks about Caroline Wilson. Clearly it was a poor attempt at humour, for which I sincerely apologise,” he told Fox Footy.

The former St Kilda player has also reached out to personally apologise to Wilson. It’s not believed McGuire has done the same.