McGuire under fire for AFL Women's no-show
AFL: The Collingwood Football Club has come out in defence of president Eddie McGuire after the broadcaster was once again embroiled in a storm of controversy involving women in sport.
McGuire did not attend the inaugural AFL Women's match between Carlton and Collingwood on Friday night at Princes Park in Melbourne. Instead he was at the Adelaide Oval hosting Foxtel's coverage of the Anthony Mundine-Danny Green fight.
McGuire's failure to attend the historic moment in the history of his football club and women's sport in Australia has been met with staunch criticism from media commentators and football figures.
Channel 10 personality and Sydney radio star Amanda Keller said McGuire's no-show casts him in a poor light.
"This was the first weekend of the AFL women's competition and it was massive," Keller said on WSFM's Jonesy and Amanda Breakfast Show.
"This was reportedly the highest crowd ever for a women's sporting event in Australia outside of the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. 2000 people were turned away. They couldn't get in. Now this was Carlton versus Collingwood. A momentous, extraordinary day.
"You know who wasn't there? Eddie McGuire, who is the president of the Collingwood Football Club. On that momentous day, the president of the Carlton Football Club, he made some lovely comments that I saw on social media. Eddie McGuire wasn't there. He chose to host Danny Green and Anthony Mundine and their fight in Adelaide and he missed attending his club's women's team's first momentous game.
"Eddie you should have been there, it was important, you should have been there."
It comes after McGuire famously attracted widespread criticism for his comments towards senior AFL journalist Caroline Wilson. In June last year McGuire was forced to apologise for making a joke on live radio about drowning the veteran footy commentator.
Despite McGuire's work commitments, veteran AFL journalist Mike Sheehan has also publicly questioned the motivation behind McGuire's no-show.
Sheehan told SEN's Breakfast with Garry, Tim and Hamish that McGuire and Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert also failed to show up for the season launch event of the AFL Women's competition on Wednesday night.
"There were two things Eddie didn't attend last week," Sheehan said.
"One was the launch of the women's competition on the Wednesday. And given that Collingwood was in the first game I thought, 'Gee, that's interesting'. And then there was the Friday night one. Now I know he has commitments. I know he's a commercial broadcaster. He should have been at the girl's game. It was a major event in football.
"Given Eddie's passion for Collingwood and the way he loves it and announces it. I was surprised that he wasn't there."
Sheehan's public criticism of McGuire attracted a response from Pert.
The Collingwood boss said it was incorrect to suggest the Collingwood Football Club was anything but entirely supportive of the AFL Women's league.
"There's a very good reason why myself and Ed weren't there," Pert told SEN.
"Ed had commitments to do with his job and the work that he does Monday to Friday. I had a commitment to do with the men's AFL team and we were very well represented at that function. We had Geoff Walsh, who is the head of our footy department. We had Marcus Wagner, the head of our women's AFL.
"People can sit there and go maybe Ed wasn't there for one event because of other commitments, but I see the work that he's put in over the last year or two to actually help get this competition up and get Collingwood's team (up). He's done a massive amount of work and is such a passionate supporter of the women's team and all the girls in the team would know that.
"You would also know that at the game on Friday night the entire club was there. The players from the AFL team, the players from the netball team, our board and our executive. It was a fantastically well represented night for the club."