Eddie McGuire on Tuesday stood down as Collingwood Football Club president, effective immediately following his disastrous comments last week describing a racism report’s release as “an historic and proud day” for the club.
Twitter users were quick to point out McGuire’s lack of apology and “playing the victim” in his resignation speech, while others made the point that the media personality was “finally experiencing consequences” for his past actions.
McGuire told a press conference Tuesday: “I try my best and I don’t always get it right, but I don’t stop trying. Today, effective immediately, I step down from the presidency of the Collingwood Football Club.”
He had been due to step down at the end of 2021.
His resignation comes after a number of prominent Australians signed an open letter to the Collingwood Football Club demanding McGuire step down following the release of the leaked ‘CFC Do Better’ Report.
The report found evidence of “systemic racism” within the Magpies. Last week McGuire was forced to backtrack on his disastrous comments describing the report’s release as “an historic and proud day” for the club.
A tearful McGuire insisted during Tuesday’s press conference that he had become a “lightning rod” for criticism after making the “proud” comments.
“People have latched on to my opening line last week and as a result I have become a lightning rod for vitriol but have placed the club in a position where it is hard to move forward with our plans of clear air,” he said.
McGuire listed charity and community work the club had done in the diversity space as a reason Collingwood wasn’t racist.
“This is why I say we are not a racist club, far from it,” he said.
“I remind people that our recent review, inspired by Black Lives Matter, that part of a six-year journey of our reconciliation action plan was to look to what we need to do in the next 10 years, not the last.”
Heritier Lumumba’s account of a “culture of racist jokes” at the club where he played 199 games from 2005-14 prompted the ‘CFC Do Better’ report.
Although McGuire did not mention Lumumba during his press conference.
In 2017, Lumumba went public with allegations teammates had nickname him “chimp” and said the club failed to support him and punished him for daring to speak out about McGuire’s 2013 “King Kong” slur at Adam Goodes.
Collingwood publicly denied Lumumba’s claims along with coach Nathan Buckley.
Lumumba labelled the club’s response to the ‘Do Better’ report as “cowardice” and “delusional”.
“What I saw was a clear case of cowardice,” Lumumba told ABC radio.
“It was a clear case of a football club that is delusional.
“They keep pointing to courage, and they’re the ones who are leading the charge (against racism). No, they are absolutely not the ones leading the charge.”
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