Can Eddie McGuire recover from his latest blunder?
Can Eddie McGuire recover from his latest blunder?

Origins of Eddie’s downfall exposed

Even after apologising and standing himself down, Eddie McGuire can't escape Australia's wrath.

The blowback to the Collingwood president's latest blunder continued to rage as journalists and footy lovers took to their keyboards to explain just what McGuire got so wrong as he made another on-air gaffe to add to his list of missteps.

Hosting Fox Footy's Friday night coverage of the Swans' clash against Adelaide, McGuire mocked Cynthia Banham - a Swans ambassador - for her pre-match coin toss, proposing those who don't flip the dime perfectly be fined $5000.

What McGuire didn't realise was Banham - a respected former journalist who lost both legs after a plane clash in 2007 that killed 21 people - was the one tossing the coin.

It was another foot-in-mouth moment for the veteran media personality, who has sparked outrage in recent years with comments about wanting to drown AFL journalist Caroline Wilson and suggesting Adam Goodes promote the King Kong musical just days after the Swans legend was racially abused in a match against the Magpies.

McGuire stood down from his TV commitments for the rest of the weekend's footy and apologised if anyone took offence to his ridiculing of Banham, saying he was "devastated" when he learnt of the gravity of his situation.

Returning to the airwaves on Triple M's Hot Breakfast this morning, McGuire said he felt "physically sick" about the controversy and had no idea Banham was responsible for the coin toss.

"I would never have made light of a person with a disability," McGuire said. "It was just an unfortunate sequence of events but I own them. I didn't know who was doing the toss, I wasn't looking at the monitor.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw the coin flick out and I went off on a tangent of jocularity."

But his words of remorse after the fact haven't done much to stem the tide of angry retorts.

BIG PROBLEM WITH EDDIE'S RESPONSE

Swans Ambassador Cynthia Banham became the unwitting target of McGuire’s “joke”.
Swans Ambassador Cynthia Banham became the unwitting target of McGuire’s “joke”.

Writing for The West Australian, well-known journalist Jenna Clarke called McGuire "a boofhead of the highest order" and pointed out the biggest problem with his latest misadventure wasn't the initial comments about coin-tossing themselves, but about what he did afterwards.

Clarke said McGuire's words were all wrong. "It was his first mea culpa that is the most telling in how he sees himself and the world," Clarke wrote. "Forget some Latin crest; 'Sorry you got offended' should be his motto.

"With each passing hour - or in his case - each tone-deaf, insensitive controversy his legacy is becoming more and more tarnished.

"The fact that McGuire - an icon of the game - fails to read the room, let alone his pre-game notes these days suggests he needs some time away from our screens to go and connect with society in 2019."

It was a theme supported by former Swans player Brandon Jack, who took issue with McGuire's first attempt to defuse the situation.

"Immediately he shifts the onus, because we are the ones who have misinterpreted what he said. It's not Eddie's fault, it's our fault because we took it the wrong way," Jack wrote in a column for 10 Daily.

"That's a nice line to throw around, Eddie, it really is. But you said what you said in direct relation to Cynthia Banham, so don't say it has 'nothing' to do with her. You just didn't think about how your words might affect someone else, and now you're having to deal with the consequences."

McGuire was “devastated” by his gaffe.
McGuire was “devastated” by his gaffe.

Herald Sun chief football writer Mark Robinson was equally as cutting as he pinned McGuire for an ugly trend that shouldn't be evident in someone of his importance in the football world.

"His timing and delivery of 'jokes' is the concern because he shouldn't have to apologise as many times as he has in recent years for his lousy attempt at humour," Robinson wrote.

"Everyone makes mistakes but, for a man of his standing, mistake upon mistake when opening his mouth isn't unlucky. It's a trend. The Swans want McGuire punished by the AFL and how that manifests itself will be intriguing."

MCGUIRE HURT MOST BY BLUNDER

Writing for The Age, Jake Niall said for all the fist-shaking from those around the country calling for blood, "no one will be more hurt by those loose words than Eddie McGuire".

Niall said it's ironic McGuire has found himself in trouble for insensitive remarks when as the boss of Collingwood, he's done so much to make the club a progressive organisation with wheelchair and women's teams and programs for the homeless and indigenous Australians.

On Saturday Swans chairman Andrew Pridham called on the AFL to take action over McGuire's insult, demanding the league show "leadership" by ensuring there are consequences when something of this magnitude happens.

But Niall said there's no real concrete punishment that will eventuate, instead saying reputational harm will be the biggest bruise McGuire suffers.

McGuire stood down from his TV commitments on the weekend.
McGuire stood down from his TV commitments on the weekend.

"The major consequence for Eddie McGuire from his latest on-air gaffe will be reputational, and to reinforce the impact of two previous blunders over the past six years," Niall wrote. "It is not likely there will be any formal punishment, but even if there was, it would be largely irrelevant compared with the dents to his image and sense of self.

"Fox Footy won't pull him off the air. Collingwood won't unglue him from the presidential chair he's occupied for two decades and there's little the AFL can do to punish a television commentator who has made a clearly unintentional, yet deeply embarrassing clanger."

While some attacks on McGuire have focused on his personal flaws, ABC columnist Richard Hinds believes his comments about Banham reflect the decline in sports broadcasting standards - of which McGuire has contributed to.

"For consumers of broadcast sport, McGuire's bone-headed criticism of coin-tossers was just another example of the rapid degeneration of sports commentary and analysis," Hinds wrote.

"The pertinent question about McGuire's comments, quite rightly posed by the ABC's national sport editor, David Mark, was not about the remarks themselves.

"It was why McGuire would make them during a sports broadcast.

"In this sense, McGuire fell into a trap he had helped create by engaging in - and even pioneering in his role on the AFL Footy Show - the false bravado, bluster and matey in-jokes that now masquerade for serious sports commentary on some platforms.

"If your brand of commentary is the kind of juvenile banter routinely exchanged by bored dunderheads in the back row desks of a trigonometry class, then you are bound to get yourself into trouble sooner or later - or in McGuire's case, both."



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