Defiant Eddie walks off live TV set

 

 

Eddie McGuire is being forced to defend attacks from all sides as his dual role as a media megastar and Collingwood president continue to open him up for criticism.

As the Magpies' season heads south, McGuire has been under the gun for what's seen as inconsistent commentary around COVID-19 breaches.

McGuire strongly defended Magpies vice-captain Steele Sidebottom after he was given a four-game ban for a big night out which saw him travel to a former teammate's house to drink before being found in the street by police early the next day.

The Channel 9 and Fox Footy star had earlier called for $100,000 fines and season-long suspensions for players found guilty of breaching protocols and putting the AFL season in jeopardy.

Brisbane Lions premiership hero Jonathan Brown was the latest to pile on McGuire.

"I think you've got to ask yourself always: Am I helping or hurting the footy club?" Brown told Fox Footy's On The Couch.

"At the moment, the coach Nathan Buckley is having to defend the footy club, having to defend Eddie's comments. Last week he (McGuire) didn't need to say he was 'proud' of Steele Sidebottom. All he needed to say was 'he's had a clean record for 12 years'.

"At the moment, Eddie is hurting the Collingwood footy club, because if you're going to win a premiership - and they're a genuine chance of winning - you don't want any choppy waters around."

Brown's comments were played on Channel 9's Footy Classified on Monday night before veteran footy journo Caroline Wilson peppered McGuire with questions.

Caroline Wilson: Do you accept that sometimes you do hurt Collingwood? You might be taking the flak for people but do you think you have hurt the club? It was called out by Nathan Buckley some years ago, Geoff Walsh twice won't answer the question about having an outspoken president in the last month …

Eddie McGuire: You are talking about Nathan Buckley in 2001 when he was in the media. He came to the club and has been with us for the last 12 years.

Caro: Do you think over the last week you might have hurt the club.

Eddie: I'm not defending myself … well, it depends. Jonathan Brown once said we trained 'appallingly' as we walked past the Holden Centre and looked over the fence …

Caro: Answer the question. Not only Jonathan Brown has said that …

Eddie: I will set the context up. You have asked me the question so I will answer it. He didn't realise it was captain's run and a non-compulsory (session). Jonathan Brown …

Caro: Have you hurt the Collingwood Football Club in the last week?

Eddie: … has zero understanding of what happens in the Collingwood Football Club. Now I do.

Caro: OK I think you have (hurt Collingwood). And Mick Warner thinks you have Mark Robinson thinks you have - three senior footy people.

Eddie: They are three competitors who write about me and have done for 21 years calling for me to be kicked off television shows or presidencies or run agendas …

Caro: You still haven't answered the question.

Steele Sidebottom. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Steele Sidebottom. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Eddie: Well my answer is 'no'. I don't do anything that goes out ever …

Caro: Do you reflect back over the last week that maybe to say …

Eddie: Hang on Caro …

Caro: … that you were proud of the guy …

Eddie: Do you know what? But did you hear what I said? I tell you what this is going to be. I'm going to cut all these things up one day and present them to RMIT journalism course and say 'this is what you report as accurate and here's what you hope to report'. I said on Tony Jones' cross that I was proud of the way he (Steele Sidebottom) reacted. That is he took the four weeks on the chin, that he didn't appeal and he didn't squeal and he didn't complain plain and he gave us the utmost truth. I was proud of that, in conjunction with his unblemished career. I said there we were not happy with happened - and of course we are not. That seems to be pretty straightforward …

Caro: You were pretty strong last week that he wouldn't lose the vice-captaincy see.

Eddie: Yes.

Caro: You let your vice-captain get on the sauce when he shouldn't have been there.

Eddie: I'll tell you what I'm going to do Caro. I'm going to do what you wanted me to do. I'm going to give you a 'no comment'. We've said enough about it, it was last week, the club handles it, we'll handle it internally.

I’m out of here. Picture: Channel 9
I’m out of here. Picture: Channel 9

The back-and-forth continued as Wilson suggested McGuire was "as silent as he'd ever been" when Collingwood won the premiership in 2010.

"Well, if that's the case, I'll tell you what? If the decision was if Collingwood would win the flag if I was silent, it'd be very simple and I'd go right now and never come back," he said.

In a lighthearted fashion he then stood up and walked off set.

It was good TV - and McGuire returned a minute later to continue the show.

Originally published as Defiant Eddie walks off live TV set

He walked all the way out to the green room. Picture: Channel 9
He walked all the way out to the green room. Picture: Channel 9


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