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AFL 2013 Rd 02 - Collingwood v Carlton

Harry O'Brien and Eddie McGuire in happier times


"I'M EXTREMELY disappointed with Eddie's comments and do not care what position he holds," says Collingwood footballer Harry O'Brien in the wake of Eddie McGuire's on-air gaffe that linked Adam Goodes and the King Kong stage show.

McGuire apologises for on-air gaffe

O'Brien has reacted angrily to his president's 'slip-of-the-tongue' remarks that were aired on Triple M, tweeting: "race relations in this country is systematically a national disgrace."

"It doesn't matter if you are a school teacher, a doctor or even the president of my football club I will not tolerate racism, nor should we as a society," O'Brien tweeted.

Read the AFL's full statement


"Im [sic] extremely disappointed with Eddie's comments and do not care what position he holds, I disagree with what came out [of] his mouth this morning on radio.

"To me Eddie's comments are reflective of common attitudes that we as a society face. To me Australia is very casual with racism, I would argue that many people in this country would not think what Eddie or the 13yr old girl said last friday is 'bad'.

"In my opinion race relations in this country is systematically a national disgrace and we have a long way to go to reach a more harmonious and empathetic society."

Early Wednesday morning McGuire's co-host Luke Darcy said the advertisement for the stage show King Kong was a " great promo", to which McGuire responded: "Get Adam Goodes down for it do you reckon?"

"No, I wouldn't have thought so. Absolutely not," Darcy said.

"You can see them doing that, can't you?" McGuire persisted.


Indigenous North Melbourne footballer Daniel Wells said he found the comments offensive.

"Obviously I'm a little bit disappointed about it. He did a fair bit of work after that incident with Adam (Goodes) last week. To his credit, he came down and handled it really well. But to make a silly comment like that, a bit tongue in cheek, but hopefully it doesn't undo all the work he's done in the past.

"It just goes to show that tongue in check (or not), you're treading a fine line really. You've just got to be careful.

"I feel for Adam. He's obviously been through a lot the last couple of days and the last couple of weeks and hopefully it hasn't affected him too much. But he's a pretty strong man and we know what Eddie's done and how passionate he is, so there's no doubt if he had his time again he probably wouldn't say it."

Speaking at a football launch in Queensland (reported by News Limited), AFL chief Andrew Demetriou said: "He's punishing himself this morning, I've got no doubt.

"He knows he's said the wrong thing because he's apologised.

"It's very un-Eddie. I know Eddie. The one thing you do know about Eddie, and you saw it on Friday night with his actions straight after the Adam Goodes incident, he's the last person who has got a racial bone in his body.

"He just got it wrong this morning. He's apologised. I don't know what was going on?' Early start? I don’t know.

"But I'm sure he's feeling remorseful about it."

AFL community engagement manager Jason Mifsud on Twitter: "Regardless of unconscious racial bias bring [sic] exposed through extreme frustration/anger or stupid attempts at humour – it is still wrong".

Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy said: "The problem with Eddie, who is working in the press and being president of a club, you're in front of the press and the cameras and a microphone all the time.

 "That's a problem in itself. In the end, it was just a silly statement.

 "Goodesy is a person everybody loves and respects. That's the way I look at it.

 "It doesn't matter whether it's politically correct or all of those sorts of things you put on the table, in the end I think this is a brain fade."

"We should just keep re-educating our young people and Eddie just bumped up the average age, didn't he?

 "We've got a great country, we've got 170 to 180 nationalities here, our own indigenous people are a beautiful people that basically were invaded.

"Sometimes the best way to say sorry is to physically go out and visit the communities."

Fremantle small forward Hayden Ballantyne also questioned the comments on Twitter, tweeting: "Does Eddie need education as well?"

McGuire has apologised for his comments and said it was simply a "slip of a tongue".