SYDNEY chairman Andrew Pridham has described Eddie McGuire’s gaffe on Fox Footy’s Friday night Swans-Crows coverage as "disappointing and inappropriate".
McGuire criticised the pre-match coin toss of Cynthia Banham, a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist who had both legs amputated after a plane crash in Indonesia in 2007.
The Collingwood president issued two apologies and stood down from his calling duties for Fox Footy for Saturday afternoon's Essendon-St Kilda clash.
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"His comments were immensely disappointing and inappropriate," Pridham told AFL.com.au on Friday night.
"Cynthia is an amazing woman. Courageous, humble and inspiring. She does not deserve to be spoken about on national television in that way. No one does.
"Being invited to toss the coin prior to a major sporting event is a great honour and a long-standing tradition. It is a moment to be enjoyed and treasured.
"Regardless of who it is, they are doing it by invitation and as a recognition of their love of the sport or a club. There are no professional coin tossers.
"Eddie, by contrast is a highly experienced and credentialed presenter. He should and does know better.
"As a club we have endured numerous occurrences such as tonight’s. Slip of the tongue, over tiredness etc. Just a misunderstanding, comments taken out of context.
"Eddie needs to focus less on his too frequent sincere apologies and more on tolerance and respect.
"Cynthia has endured significant hardship in her life and her strength shines through. She loves the Sydney Swans. We love her.
"Footy is for everyone."
Banham's coin toss was ill-directed when McGuire began his critique.
"I think we should introduce a $5000 fine to anybody who’s tossing the coin and can’t do it properly," McGuire said on the pre-game coverage.
"Every week, we have someone dropping it on their foot. Come on, toss it up properly, for goodness sake. Practice in the week, you know you’re going to do it. It can’t be that hard can it, guys?"
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Angry people took to social media to express their frustration with McGuire's sentiments, leading the Collingwood president to apologise for his comments at half-time of the match and again in a statement on Saturday morning.
"The Swans say it was an ignorant comment," McGuire said in a statement.
"I am guilty of ignorance.
"I didn’t see the lead up to the toss and had no knowledge of who it was.
"I saw out of the corner of my eye the coin fly out and was having a laugh at coin tossing in general.
"Once I realised who and what it was I was totally devastated and apologetic.
"I have apologised publicly and privately.
"I am deeply sorry that I have taken away from what should have been a wonderful occasion for Cynthia, her family and friends."
McGuire also issued an apology at half-time on the Fox Footy broadcast.
"It had nothing to do with Cynthia Banham, who was the coin tosser tonight at the SCG and has a disability," McGuire said.
"I just want to apologise if this was communicated in the wrong way, I did not mean to offend anyone, especially Cynthia, and I apologise unreservedly to her, her family and friends, Swans supporters and anybody watching tonight who took it that way. My apologies there, for that comment."
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It is not the first time McGuire has found himself in hot water following a comment about journalist Caroline Wilson in 2016.
The Magpies president was also heavily criticised for comments made when he suggested Sydney champion Adam Goodes should be used to promote the King Kong musical in 2013.
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Banham is now a Swans ambassador and holds a Doctor of Philosophy – acquired after the 2007 crash – and a Masters in International Affairs.