Finally, Something Resembling A Proper Apology From Eddie McGuire

'I apologise unreservedly to Caroline for putting her in that position.'

21/06/2016 10:46 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
Getty Images
He's had a hard think about it, and he's sorry.

At last, Eddie McGuire has had a good think, a long look inside and said some words which should please footy journalist Caroline Wilson and indeed anyone with a shred of decency.

After a half-baked non apology of sorts on Monday for his vile "joke" about drowning Wilson, a prominent female football journalist, McGuire has made a considered apology on behalf of Collingwood, where he is club president, and Triple M.

"In the last 24 hours I have seen the impact of the comments on her," McGuire said in a video address posted online.

"No person should ever feel uneasy or threatened in football's family. And for that I am deeply sorry and I apologise unreservedly to Caroline for putting her in that position."

You can watch the full apology here.

And here's the transcript:

"To the Collingwood and the football community at large, I've spent the day taking counsel from friends and foes, senior government politicians, the AFL and community leaders.

In particular, Rosie Batty and an old footballing and political mate, Phil Cleary, both of whom have seen first-hand the tragic consequences of domestic violence.

I believe there are two issues at play here.

First the perception, real or otherwise, that last Monday on the stage of the MND Freeze event, in an interview on Triple M that was meant to be harmless fun, things were said that could also be seen as men with a pack mentality attacking a woman.

I met Caroline Wilson in a press box when I was 14. Over the journey we have had plenty of battles and laughs. It's all part of the cut and thrust of the media and football. I'm long past thinking of Caroline as anything but Caroline Wilson. Gender has never entered my head in terms of the role she plays. In fact, I hired her for the role she has on Footy Classified because she was the best person for the job.

In the last 24 hours, and particularly since this morning, I've seen the impact of the comments on her. No person should ever feel uneasy or threatened in football's family. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologise unreservedly to Caroline for putting her in that position.

I am a father and a husband. I am passionate about stopping the violence that claims the lives of more than 65 women a year in Australia. So too, do I want to continue to play my part in changing the culture that has sustained violence against women. That includes giving no comfort to men who belittle or mistreat women.

I am really disappointed that I made remarks that are at odds with my views on the place of women in modern Australia. On July 23, our club, in conjunction with the Pratt Foundation, will host a scheduled fundraising function with Rosie Batty. Today, on what would have been her son Luke's 14th birthday, and having spoken to Rosie earlier, I'll be making a personal contribution to support the victims of domestic violence.

At a time when I am so looking forward to being president of three women's sporting clubs — Collingwood women's football, Collingwood netball and the Melbourne Stars women's cricket club, it is important to show leadership on this issue.

That includes being able to admit you are wrong and willing to learn."

Earlier on Monday, McGuire was still having a bet each-way on the apology front. He was still saying things like "that was clearly banter" and that his comments were "in no way, shape or form sexist".

But Wilson fervently maintained that McGuire "had crossed a line", and Eddie finally delivered his unreserved apology on Monday night. Speaking to listeners on Triple M on Tuesday morning, he said it had taken him 24 hours to "gather his thoughts, work through his feelings and to really understand the ways his joke had hit people".

"I spent a long time because I wanted to get it right, I want to get the feelings that I felt inside, and not only that, I wanted to make sure, to work through the touchstones of everybody," he said.

More On This Topic