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Eddie McGuire An 'Old Style Bully', Fairfax Boss Says

Greg Hywood has joined in the attack on the beleaguered Collingwood president.

20/06/2016 4:30 PM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:54
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A number of prominent Australians want action to be taken against Eddie McGuire.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has added his voice to the growing number of high-profile Australians calling on the AFL to censure Eddie McGuire for "joking" that journalist Caroline Wilson should be drowned.

McGuire, who has been engulfed in a media storm since the story broke on Sunday, was today condemned by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan for the comments, but has so far dodged punishment.

The Collingwood president offered a non-apology of sorts for what Wilson has called "sexist nonsense", with McGuire saying his words were intended as banter and not meant to offend anyone.

Hywood, who is boss of Fairfax where Wilson is employed at The Age, said McGuire's apology was not good enough.

"The comments were infuriating and appalling," Hywood said in a statement on Monday night. "Eddie McGuire ... just doesn't seem to get it."

Hywood said it was repeat behaviour by McGuire, who has previously been attacked for claims of racism and homophobia and has a long history of gaffes.

"It is old style bullying, intimidation and physical threats and when challenged they are dressed up as a misunderstanding and just a bit of fun," Hywood said.

"It just isn't acceptable. McGuire has undermined the AFL's best efforts to expose the insidious impact of domestic violence in our community."

He called on Collingwood "to act if it is serious about its culture".

Hywood joins former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek, media personalities Meshel Laurie and Jessica Rowe, Wilson herself, and a host of other well known Aussies who have slammed McGuire for the comments.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, meanwhile, has urged people to view the comments in context and not to take offence at "silly" attempts at humour.

The furore erupted after the statements made last Monday by McGuire, North Melbourne president James Brayshaw and former AFL star Danny Frawley, about the prospect of drowning the Wilson came to light on blogger Erin Riley's site.

In the recording, McGuire quips that Wilson should be dunked underwater, and then be kept there.

"In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson. And I'll put in ten grand straight away, make it twenty. And if she stays under, fifty. What do you reckon guys?" McGuire says at one point in the explosive broadcast.

Brayshaw and Frawley have also said sorry about their involvement in the poorly judged jibe.

The comments were made during the Big Freeze at the MCG and aired on the Triple M radio station.

They went largely unnoticed for almost a week then surfaced on the same weekend as the AFL held a White Ribbon fixture aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence and violence against women.

Just last week, eight female teams for the first year of the AFL national women's league were announced, including a Collingwood side.

Fairfax Media is a joint venture partner in The Huffington Post Australia.

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