Former Triple M Breakfast host Eddie McGuire steps down as Collingwood FC president
Former Triple M Breakfast host Eddie McGuire has lost another high-profile gig, stepping down effective immediately as president of Collingwood Football Club.
McGuire took the helm of the club on his 34th birthday back in 1998 and said his sole motivation, from that day onwards, was “to heal, unite, inspire, and drive a new social conscience, not just into this club, but sport and the community in general, and build an organisation that would be a place of opportunity for all people”.
McGuire had already announced his intentions to step down at the conclusion of the 2021 AFL season, however the position became untenable following the release of the Collingwood Do Better report into racism.
The report revealed systemic racism at the club and found Collingwood had frequently “doubled down” when racist incidents were aired in the media.
Despite the damning findings, at a press conference last week McGuire called it a “proud” and “historic” day for the club, leading to mounting calls for his resignation.
Today, he heeded those calls.
“I try my best and I don’t always get it right, but I don’t stop trying. But today effective immediately I step down from the presidency of the Collingwood Football Club,” he said.
McGuire again insisted Collingwood is “not a racist club”, and said the report was about what the club needs to do in the next 10 years, not what it should have done across the previous decade.
He said his written statement in the wake of the report was stronger and more succinct than what he said out loud on the day, but noted “people have latched onto my opening line last week”.
“It is because we had so much going on, so much good to do, and with the interruptions and pressure from COVID-19, that I committed to continue my presidency until the end of this season. However I don’t think that is now either fair or tenable for the club or the community. People have latched onto my opening line last week, and as a result, I’ve become a lightning rod for vitriol but worse, I’ve placed the club in a position where it’s hard to move forward with the implementation of our plans with clear air,” he said at today’s press conference.
“Our sponsors, who all stand united against any form of racism, are also under pressure – Emirates, CGU, La Trobe Financial, Nike, have been magnificent supporters, and are hard task masters in making sure we live our collective ideals together.”
He also noted that, against opposition, he was able to commence the Collingwood women’s program, as well as its other diversity initiatives which spotlighted disabled and Indigenous peoples. He also highlighted the club’s support of domestic violence charities and research into the effects of concussion.
In addition to his Collingwood FC duties, McGuire hosted Triple M Melbourne’s Hot Breakfast alongside former AFL star Luke Darcy for over a decade. He was replaced this year by The Marty Sheargold Show.
Part of McGuire’s press conference can be heard below. He did not take questions.