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Hird and Malthouse surprised by McGuire's gaffe

Malthouse on Eddie Mick Malthouse discusses Eddie McGuire's on-air gaffe
Eddie McGuire is set to undertake a specially tailored AFL education process - ${keywords}
Eddie McGuire is set to undertake a specially tailored AFL education process
I've seen the ugly side, and we have got a long, long way to go
Mick Malthouse
ESSENDON coach James Hird has been taken aback by the "extraordinary" events involving Eddie McGuire this week, while Mick Malthouse says it's important to remember McGuire is "not the victim" in the AFL race row.

Speaking in Sydney ahead of Essendon's clash with the Swans, Hird acknowledged McGuire's remarks linking Goodes to the stage show King Kong were damaging and evidence of a broader national issue, but also declared the under-fire McGuire wasn't a racist.

"They've been extraordinary really," Hird said when asked about the events of the past week.

"Obviously Eddie's comments were very disappointing and hurtful and he's apologised for those and I think everyone hopes that apology has been accepted.

"Everyone feels for Adam Goodes and people in the indigenous community that this issue is not a one-off.

"People of Australia need to realise that it is a very big issue and it has to be dealt with.

"But I also know Eddie reasonably well and know he's not a racist person.

"He's a person that's done a lot for the community at all levels and someone who is remorseful about what's been said and he will work to make sure he does good for the comment that he made."

Malthouse said he felt sorry for the dual Brownlow medallist.

Asked if he thought McGuire was racist, Malthouse responded: "I would say, 'No', but at his own admission he said it was a racist comment."

Malthouse said he was "totally shocked" by the remarks.

"Eddie's not the victim, Eddie's not the victim in this," he said.

"Sometimes we need to walk in someone else's shoes and find out what it's really like.

"I've seen the ugly side, and we have got a long, long way to go.

"I do know that right through my football time that these things are not isolated.

"All that's happened, from my point of view, this week is a reinforcement that we're too tolerant of ignorance.

"The victim of this (is) Adam Goodes and what he represents."

The AFL's community engagement manager Jason Mifsud has been tasked with overseeing McGuire's education process, which comes under the AFL's racial and religious vilification code. 

"They're being co-ordinated now by Jason Mifsud who's speaking with indigenous players and with indigenous leaders," AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou told Radio 3AW.  

"They will work out a program that they believe best suits this particular situation, as they've done in the past, and once that's established that will be conveyed to Eddie McGuire and he'll have to go through that education process."

Demetriou said the process may involve more than one session, but would be tailored to McGuire individually.

"You have a very different education process for someone who is completely ignorant or is intolerant... sometimes you who have to adapt the education programs to adapt to people who don't have a racist bone in their body."

Demetriou insisted the sacking of former Adelaide recruiting manager Matthew Rendell was "completely different."

"Matt Rendell said something which was a terrible thing to say about indigenous players.

"He was unrepentant about what he'd said.

"He didn't change his views and the club said that is not the policy our club and he was dismissed by the football club."

Demetriou said Rendell also went through an education process.

"He was then subject to exactly the same process we've got in place.

When Auskick ambassador Robert Dipierdomenico made a racist gaffe at a South Australian function in 2010, he was stood down indefinitely without pay, a stance Demetriou defended.

"He was employed by the AFL in his Auskick capacity, we would have felt at the time .. that it was appropriate that he got stood down.

But Demetriou backed the decision of Collingwood's board not to suspend McGuire.

"He's made a mistake, he's acknowledged the mistake.

"I know it polarizes the community.

"I think this whole week has just been terribly sad for lots of people, in particular Adam Goodes. There's no winners out of this, but we need to continue to educate.