Eddie McGuire in Goodes King Kong gaffe

STATHI PAXINOS
Last updated 16:46 29/05/2013
Eddie McGuire
OH DEAR: Eddie McGuire has apologised for an on-air gaffe in which he suggested an indigenous AFL player should be used to promote King Kong.
Adam Goodes
Getty Images
RACIST ABUSE: Adam Goodes of the Sydney Swans was left visibly upset after an apparent racial taunt from a fan marred his side's win.

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Adam Goodes has refused to accept Eddie McGuire's apology for his inappropriate comment about using the Swans star to promote the musical King Kong.

McGuire contacted Goodes in an attempt to explain away the comment, but it is understood Goodes remains deeply hurt, despite McGuire saying in a statement that Goodes had accepted the apology.

"I have contacted the Sydney Swans to explain the situation to Adam Goodes personally. Adam was gracious enough to take my call and expressed his disappointment," said McGuire.

"Adam accepted my apology and acknowledged my strong commitment and record in tackling racial vilification not just on the football field but in the wider community."

However, it is believed that Goodes sees the situation differently. 

A visibly emotional Sydney coach John Longmire said he was "staggered" by McGuire's King Kong reference to Swans champion Goodes on Wednesday on Melbourne radio.

And even Magpie premiership star Harry O'Brien has heavily criticised his president as reaction grows to the 37 seconds on air that McGuire is living to regret.

McGuire apologised for suggesting Goodes be used to promote the musical King Kong, just days after the Collingwood president apologised for a racist taunt directed at the Sydney star by a Magpies fan.

Longmire was sitting in a Swans match committee meeting on Wednesday morning when he received a text message from Goodes passing on McGuire's comment.

"He [Goodes] is still trying to come to terms with how it could happen," Longmire said. "We are all still trying to come to terms with it.

"Eddie was very close to the situation that occurred last Friday night and he saw first hand how upset Adam was. I just can't believe he said it."

McGuire was attempting to contact Goodes and attempting to explain his error of judgement to Swans chairman Richard Colless and CEO Andrew Ireland in a series of telephone conversations.

Longmire said the racist taunt directed at Goodes last Friday night at the MCG by a 13-year-old Magpie fan, and comments by another fan captured on youTube directed at Goodes and his teammate Lewis Jetta, had been his first experience of such vilification as a senior coach.

"I can't understand how it still happens," said the reigning premiership coach.

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"Adam trained really well yesterday and has been doing really well, so as I said this further situation is disappointing, staggering.

"All we can do is continue to support Adam and Lewis Jetta and Tony Armstrong. They are just great people and great leaders at our club."

Colless later described McGuire's comments as "an inexplicable brain explosion which undermined a lot of good work that was done over the weekend."

Collingwood star Harry O'Brien, who has African and South American heritage, also heavily criticised his president in tweets for the comments.

"It doesn't matter if you are a school teacher, a doctor or even the president of my football club I will not tolerate racism, nor should we as a society. Im extremely disappointed with Eddie's comments and do not care what position he holds, I disagree with what came out his mouth this morning on radio. To me Eddie's comments are reflective of common attitudes that we as a society face.

"To me Australia is very casual with racism, I would argue that many people in this country would not think what Eddie or the 13yr old girl said last friday is 'bad'. In my opinion race relations in this country is systematically a national disgrace and we have a long way to go to reach a more harmonious and empathetic society."

North Melbourne star Daniel Wells says he was offended and disappointed by McGuire's comments.

"I did hear it. Obviously I'm a bit disappointed about it," Wells said, in a press conference to mark his 200-game milestone for North Melbourne this weekend.

"He did a fair bit of work after that incident with Adam [Goodes] last week - to his credit he came down and handled it really well - but to make a silly comment like that, a little bit tongue in cheek, hopefully it doesn't undo all the work he's done in the past," Wells said.

"It just goes to show that tongue in cheek or anything [related to racial stereotypes] you're sort of treading on thin ice ... you've just got to be careful."

Specifically asked if he had felt offended by the comments, rather than just disappointed, Wells replied: "I did, actually."

"I feel for Adam, he's obviously been through a lot ... hopefully it hasn't affected him too much," the Kangaroos midfielder said.

"We know what Eddie's done (to condemn racism) and how passionate he is. There's no doubt if he had his time again he ... wouldn't say it.

"He's got a lot of weight behind what he says so it travels a long way."

- with Jesse Hogan

- The Age

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