COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire concedes he "got it wrong" when he labelled the release of a scathing internal report into systemic racism at the Magpies a "proud day".
The outgoing president made the admission at the Magpies' annual general meeting, which also saw chief executive Mark Anderson declare a "full and thorough" process would be conducted before extending the tenure of coach Nathan Buckley.
'SOBERING AND CONFRONTING' AFL boss queries 'proud' McGuire
McGuire and the Collingwood hierarchy fronted the media on Monday in response to the leaked report, which found there was "something distinct and egregious" about the Magpies' history of race-related incidents.
The president said it was "an historic and proud day for the Collingwood Football Club" as it committed to take up the recommendations of the report, which was commissioned by the club last year after allegations from former player Heritier Lumumba.
On Tuesday night, McGuire opened the Magpies' AGM to admit he had missed the mark with those comments.
"I got it wrong. I said it was a proud day for Collingwood, and I shouldn’t have," McGuire said at the event, which was held virtually.
'DELUSIONAL' Lumumba slams Collingwood reaction to leaked report
"I meant to sincerely acknowledge not only the enormous work the club had done – especially Jodie Sizer and Peter Murphy in bringing this report together – but also the work of all our staff and their preparedness to take a deep and uncompromising look into our past as a club.
"I did not mean we were proud of past incidents of racism and the hurt that it caused. I am not."
During a question and answer session with members, board member Peter Murphy argued that the report had not accused anyone at the club of racism.
McGuire said he was sorry that his comments had distracted from the report's important findings and the use of the word 'proud' had occurred "under the pressure of the day".
>> READ THE FULL 'DO BETTER' REPORT Download the PDF here
"We may not be able to undo conduct of the past but we can certainly make the future balanced and inclusive for all people," he said.
"We will set an example and eventually lead by example."
McGuire said the Magpies had intended to release the report publicly but it had "appeared prematurely in the media" after being leaked to News Corp.
The president's comments were questioned by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, who on Tuesday described the report as "sobering and confronting".
'NOT A RACIST CLUB' Pies respond to finding of 'systemic racism'
The AFL boss said he would not have used the same language, and McGuire's comments on Monday had taken the conversation away from the report's important findings.
AFL social policy and inclusion manager Tanya Hosch said we all must continue to confront the issue of racism across all areas of the community.
"'Proud' is not a word I would use."— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) February 1, 2021
AFL executive @tanyahosch on Eddie McGuire's response to the Collingwood racism report.
Ms Hosch tells @paulwkennedy it "wouldn't surprise me at all" if more AFL players came forward to share their experiences. pic.twitter.com/6VMklV0Dy8
"These are hard conversations we need to have in order to become better as clubs, as a code and as a football community. We will continue to strengthen our commitment to confront, understand and fight all forms of racism and discrimination, on and off the field," Hosch said.
"If any player, at any level of the game has been subject to vilification and not had the positive experience in football that we wish for all players to have, our commitment to you is to do everything in our power to listen to you, understand your experiences, support you, and act against further incidents.
"The AFL will also listen to and learn from the report and will continue to work with clubs and players wherever our game is played to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all."
Meanwhile, Collingwood awarded life membership to 2010 premiership players Dayne Beams, Nathan Brown, Heath Shaw and Ben Reid.