Eddie McGuire’s homophobic, racist and sexist jibes are well known. On Tuesday, while announcing his resignation, Eddie McGuire, sought to recast his legacy – elevating his role to that of a knight coming to the rescue of the LGBTQI community – someone who made it possible for rainbow flags to fly at football matches and for the establishment of Collingwood’s LGBTQI support group.
The irony of McGuire’s statements were not lost on anyone, given the fact that his homophobic jibes from a decade ago were made in public on national television. Some called him out on social media for trying to cloak his racism with a rainbow flag.
Homophobic, racist, sexist!
Way back in 2016, SkyNew presenter Laura Jayes put it best: “Eddie has achieved the trifecta. He’s been racist, homophobic and sexist.”
On Tuesday, Eddie McGuire broke down in tears as he read out his resignation letter announcing that he was stepping down as President of Collingwood Football Club. McGuire’s resignation came in the wake of calls for him to quit after a leaked report found systemic racism at Collingwood. “We are not a racist club, far from it,” McGuire protested, but that claim was belied by his past comments.
“On the last weekend, just past, it looked magnificent as our AFL women’s team played amazing football to win on gay pride weekend, rainbow flags in the Collingwood cheer squad, alongside the black and white. Women of all types, of size, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural background. It reminded me of the journey from when we established our LGBTQIA+ support group, the Pink Magpies – the first in Australian sport – back in the 1990s,” McGuire said.
Homophobia On National Television
His attempt at seeking credit for LGBTQI initiatives at the club, stood in stark contrast to his homophobic comments from 2010. McGuire was co-hosting the coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics when he felt an incessant need to make homophobic comments about male figure skaters.
Eddie McGuire asked his co-host Mick Molloy: “What about the fashion at the ice skating?” Molloy replied: “they don’t leave anything in the locker room, do they?” To this McGuire responsed, “They don’t leave anything in the closet either.”
Not stopping at that he suggested that one of the figure skater’s outfit was “a bit of Brokeback”, referencing the gay film Brokeback Mountain. The incident was investigated by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB).
In 2013, Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba was benched after he had a fallout with coach Nathan Buckley when he objected to the alleged practice of referring to teammate Paul Seedsman as ‘Lez,’ supposedly in reference to his haircut. A year later Lumumba had criticised the club after homophobic graffiti was scrawled on a poster in the players’ rooms – “off to the Mardi Gras boys?” had been written on an image of players Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams.
‘Eddie Had To Go’
On social media, there was no love lost for McGuire. “Well, it’s a proud day for all those who have been racially vilified in this country. The fight doesn’t stop here,” said Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first Aboriginal Senator.
— Lidia Thorpe (@lidia__thorpe) February 9, 2021
“How dare you hide your racism behind LGBT pride matches!” posted Sally Rugg, Executive Director of Change.org Australia.
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) February 9, 2021
McGuire’s past comments have included joking about drowning sports journalist Caroline Wilson, allegedly talking about “boning” presenter Jessica Rowe, suggesting that Aboriginal and Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes would be good for promoting the King Kong musical, terming Western Sydney as the “land of falafel” and calling then Victorian sports minister John Eren a “soccer-loving, Turkish-born Mussie”.