Eddie to sit out Thursday Night footy

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AFL: AFL 360 co-hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson debate whether a lack of penalty for Eddie McGuire and James Brayshaw looks ridiculous after the heavy fines handed down to North Melbourne and Brad Scott.

Eddie McGuire will miss Thursday Night Footy coverage. Picture: Ian Currie

AN emotionally flattened Eddie McGuire brought forward plans to fly out for Europe as the fallout from his Queen’s Birthday drowning jibe continued.

The Collingwood president confirmed on Wednesday he would stand down from the Fox Footy broadcast of Thursday’s clash between North Melbourne and Adelaide.

Sources said McGuire would leave to join his family on holiday, ahead of his scheduled departure.

“The events of the week have emotionally and physically flattened me,” he told Fairfax Media.

“I don’t think I’d be able to perform to the level that people would want to see on Thursday night footy.”

As the sexism row stormed for a fourth day Victoria Police deputy commissioner Wendy Stephen warned all officers about the dangers the episode had exposed.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire leaves the club after a board meeting. Picture: Ian Currie

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire leaves the club after a board meeting. Picture: Ian CurrieSource:News Corp Australia

“Here we have an example of where humiliation and a lack of respect are played out in public,” Stephen said in a Victoria Police online forum.

“Where a group of men laughing about drowning a female colleague, along with other name calling is somehow framed as a ‘joke’!

“The initial apologies missed the mark: `this was just a bit of fun’, `we didn’t intend any harm’ `it was only a joke’.

“It is the normalisation of this kind of language that makes us much more accepting of violence, inappropriate behaviour and gender inequality.”

McGuire’s radio station Triple M warned its on-air talent, including McGuire, about their conduct in a memo on Monday but did not publicly address his on-air comments until Wednesday.

An hour after AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said he found it “odd” the radio station had failed to make a statement about their botched June 13 segment, Triple M management released a belated email apology.

AFL: Collingwood had a board meeting, and top of the agenda was ‘what to do with Eddie Maguire’.

“Triple M has carefully considered whether further disciplinary action is required and believes that the public censure of the comments and the actions taken by the AFL community should be a sufficient incentive for a change in behaviour,” the statement said.

Triple M callers James Brayshaw, Eddie McGuire and Danny Frawley and all on-air staff will receive counselling from the White Ribbon Foundation.

The station will also use its paid on-ground digital signage at this weekend’s matches to promote the campaign to prevent violence against women.

“The comments were inappropriate and unacceptable, disrespectful to Caroline Wilson and to women in general,” the station said.

“Triple M apologises to its listeners, the wider community and Caroline Wilson.

“The broadcast staff of all Triple M stations have been reminded that language of this nature is not acceptable and there is no context that makes it acceptable.”

AFL boss McLachlan backed a decision by Richmond players and officials to boycott Triple M’s coverage of Saturday’s clash against the Brisbane Lions at the MCG.

“That’s their voice — this is what happens when you give the opportunity for issues like this to be talked about and for people to take positions,” McLachlan said.

Asked why North Melbourne and Kangaroos coach Brad Scott were heavily fined for post-game comments about umpires and McGuire escaped sanction, McLachlan said: “There are specific rules around commenting on umpires and others.

“It is questionable whether we have the ability to make a fine or decisions around Eddie … and we’re not his employer in this situation.

“But it was still clear advice to me, and my view that an apology was appropriate in this circumstance.”

A spokesperson for Collingwood major sponsor Emirates said: “Emirates can confirm that it has been in contact with Collingwood Football Club to discuss this matter.

“Emirates remains committed to our long standing partnership with the club”.

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