Should this cost Eddie McGuire his job?

Eddie McGuire during yesterday’s media conference.

#EddieMcGuire was trending last night.

So was #KingKong.

And so was #racism.

The hashtags were being used in a barrage of social media updates calling for the Collingwood Football Club President’s resignation in the wake of comments he made on his morning radio show yesterday, in which he suggested Indigenous football player Adam Goodes be used to promote the new King Kong musical.

He was speaking with co-host Luke Darcy on their Triple M breakfast show at the time:

McGuire: Get Adam Goodes down for it, do ya reckon?

Darcy: No, I wouldn’t have thought so. Or – absolutely.

McGuire:  You can see them doing it, can’t ya?

Darcy: Who?

McGuire: Goodesy.

Darcy: What’s that?

McGuire: Ya know, the ape thing, the whole thing. I’m just saying, the pumping him up and mucking around, all that sorta stuff.

When Goodes heard of the incident, he tweeted:

Adam Goodes

McGuire’s comments came just days after a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter was escorted out of the Collingwood v Sydney game for calling Goodes an “ape”. The young supporter’s words led to Goodes claiming that the new face of racism was a 13-year-old girl.

At the time, McGuire was praised for the way he handled the situation. Immediately after the game, he went to the Swans’ team locker rooms to apologise to Goodes for the behaviour of one of his football club members.

But yesterday afternoon, McGuire was fronting the media – and this time he was the one who was under the racism spotlight.

“I wasn’t racially vilifying anyone… in fact I was thinking the opposite,” he told the packed media room.

“It’s as simple as this. It was said, and I do not resile from that situation. I’ve put my foot in it.

“I’m happy to stand here in front of everybody, in front of the country, and say we do not stand for racial vilification. I let myself down because I had a slip of the tongue.”

McGuire’s employers – The Collingwood Football Club and Triple M – have also apologised for his “slip of the tongue” remarks.

The AFL has charged Mr McGuire under AFL rule number 30 – relating to racial and religious vilification – and after a public calling for his sacking, McGuire says he’ll consider stepping down as the president of the Collingwood Football Club.

On air this morning, McGuire told co-host Luke Darcy, that he was “absolutely gutted, shattered and a shell of a man in some ways on the back of what happened yesterday”.

In an editorial for News Limited this morning, McGuire wrote:

I believe in zero tolerance for any form of discrimination.

As president of Collingwood I have worked tirelessly with our members, players and board to build the club into an institution our fans can be proud of.

We have made the fight against vilification a mission.

My brain fade has caused hurt, but it steels my resolve to continue my work with Collingwood and privately in the community.

McGuire is reportedly meeting with club chiefs today to discuss his future.

UPDATE: The Collingwood Football Club board has announced their support of Eddie McGuire. This afternoon, vice-president Jack Kennedy said the club “overwhelmingly endorsed” McGuire to continue at the club.

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