Culture

Eddie McGuire Tried Lecturing People About Racism And It Went Exactly How You’d Expect

Eddie McGuire tried to defend Taylor Walker's very scripted apology for his racist comments, and was rightfully roasted instead.

eddie mcguire taylor walker racism apology

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Channel 9 presenter and former Collingwood President Eddie McGuire — the last person who should ever comment about racism in Australian sport — has decided to weigh in on Adelaide Crows forward Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker’s abysmal apology for his own racist comments.

Walker was recently suspended for six matches and fined $20,000 after a Crows employee overheard racist remarks Walker made against Indigenous player Robbie Young during a SANFL match on July 17.

Following the fallout, Walker released a seemingly scripted public apology video to address his racist comments, as Young sat with him in the empty stands.

“I’m so thankful that you’re here mate, sitting next to me. Thank you for accepting my apology. You’ve shown huge courage and support for me,” Walker said in the apology as Young patted him on the back in support.

“I want to apologise to you and your family. To the Adelaide official and his family. To all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their communities for the pain, hurt and disappointment I’ve caused.”

“What I’ve said was racism and it’s totally unacceptable,” he continued without showing any emotion. “I’ve got work to do. I’m now going to educate myself, which is going to take some time.”

“I’m going to lean on you Robbie, I’m going to lean on the AFL and others around me to support me. Thanks, mate.”

No One Was A Fan Of Walker’s Apology

After the questionable video was shared on the Adelaide Football Club website on Monday, the apology was immediately criticised for essentially painting Walker as the victim in the situation.

Retired Port Adelaide player Kane Cornes also believed that Walker should’ve held a press conference to answer questions about the situation because a “staged and scripted video… is not going to cut it”.

“He needs to front the wider media and answer questions,” Cornes told Footy Classified. “He had to be courageous and front up like his coach did, like his CEO did, at the difficult times and speak and answer those questions so we can learn more about this situation and what the next steps are.”

“A staged and scripted video that was released by the club at 6.20pm on a Monday night before news deadlines is not going to cut it.”

National treasure and ABC News Breakfast presenter Tony Armstrong agreed that the apology was sub-par, noting that Young had to be the bigger person in the situation despite doing nothing wrong.

“I’ve said this before, it is always on Indigenous people, always taking the higher road and always having to extend the olive branch out and be the ones to help and to educate… even then in the wording we heard, Taylor will be the one leaning on Robbie,” Armstrong stated.

“It’s really, really frustrating. I’ve started rethinking so many situations that I’ve been in… you’re not sure if other teammates haven’t pulled up racist comments, xenophobic comments that have happened when you aren’t there.”

“[The indigenous cohort] are not just saying this is just a Taylor Walker and an Adelaide Crows thing, it just makes us think that this is rife,” Armstrong continued.

“If this is the one that was caught, you think about all the ones that happen when you’re not there.”

Everyone Except For Eddie McGuire, Of Course

But amidst all the criticism, former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire — a man who famously suggested that Adam Goodes should be used to promote the King Kong musical — has come out in defence of Walker and his apology.

On Footy Classified, Caroline Wilson agreed that Walker was “contrived” and “did portray himself as a bit of a victim”, supporting the idea that he should’ve fronted the media instead of releasing a pre-recorded apology.

Cutting in while Wilson was still speaking, McGuire immediately came to Walker’s defence by claiming that the footy player already has “a life sentence” and would’ve faced a “public stoning” had he spoken to reporters.

“Tex… was so exhausted, hasn’t slept, wasn’t in a mental state to get up and have a public stoning by reporters. I got everything I needed to get out of that [apology],” McGuire started. “For him to be put in front of a media conference on Monday, he was not mentally prepared or able to do it.”

“You’re making it sound like he’s the victim here — he’s the perpetrator, he’s caused untold hurt and heartbreak among an entire community of footballers,” Wilson hit back.

As the segment continued, McGuire tried to shift the heat onto comments Wilson had previously made in regards to the Paralympics being “not really like sport” 13 years ago and to his own horrific Adam Goodes comments.

“You said he read a script — Barack Obama is the best person on his feet that I‘ve seen in the last 50 years and he reads off an autocue,” McGuire deflected. “You said something once where people jumped all over you about disabled athletes. You can sometimes say things where the words come out – it happened with me with Adam Goodes…”

“If you apologise, it’s all spin. If you don’t apologise, then you’re recalcitrant. If you apologise too much, then you’re adding mayonnaise to it. There is no answer to this.”

“This is where compassion and empathy comes into it. It’s about what he does now. No one’s making excuses for him, he did a horrible thing and he’s paying the penalty,” McGuire ended his rant. “But you can’t pick and choose on these things. People do make mistakes.”

As expected, the irony of Eddie McGuire trying to lecture others about racism, compassion and empathy was not lost on people, and the former Collingwood President was absolutely roasted to a crisp for his comments.

Now maybe next time Channel 9 want to discuss whether an apology for racism is “good enough” they’ll invite someone who isn’t an old white man with his own racist past, hey?