Eddie McGuire Slammed After Mocking Double Amputee's AFL Coin Toss
Commentator and Collingwood boss Eddie McGuire has come under fire for mocking how a woman tossed a coin at the Sydney Swans vs Adelaide Crows AFL match on Friday.
McGuire has now dropped out of a commitment to commentate another AFL game on Saturday.
“Out of respect for Cynthia Banham and the Sydney Swans, I have requested not to call today’s game between Essendon and St Kilda,” he said in a statement.
“I am deeply sorry and regretful for the comments I made last night about the coin tossing system. I should never have spoken without properly viewing the footage."
Chosen by the Sydney Swans to flip the coin at their first home game of the season, Cynthia Banham threw it in the air as she held onto her walking stick.
One of the club's ambassadors, Banham -- a journalist, author and scholar -- had both legs amputated after surviving a 2007 plane crash in Indonesia.
Evidently oblivious to her condition, TV commentator Eddie McGuire was less than gracious following Banham's coin toss.
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“I think we should introduce a $5000 fine to anybody who’s tossing the coin and can’t do it properly,” McGuire said.
“Every week, we have someone dropping it on their foot. Come on, toss it up properly, for goodness sake. Practice in the week, you know you’re going to do it. It can’t be that hard can it, guys?”
McGuire offered an apology later in the evening.
"I made some comments about how we do the coin toss, okay. It had nothing to do with Cynthia Banham, who was the coin tosser tonight at the SCG, who has a disability.
"I just want to apologise if this was communicated in the wrong way. I did not mean to offend anyone -- especially Cynthia -- and I apologise unreservedly to her and her family and friends, Swans supporters and anybody watching tonight, anybody who took it that way. My apologies there for that comment."
The Sydney Swans said they were "incredibly disappointed" by the veteran host's "inappropriate comments" in a statement issued on Saturday.
"The comments show not only a lack of empathy, but also ignorance," the club said.
The comments are the latest off-colour remarks made by McGuire.
In December 2017, McGuire was accused of making an anti-Semitic joke on his show Millionaire Hot Seat, when he said to a contestant with Scottish and Jewish parents "it would have been hard getting pocket money from them".
He defended himself by saying he had "many Jewish friends".
In 2016, he called it "banter" after he joked about drowning journalist Caroline Wilson during The Big Freeze, an annual fundraiser for motor neurone disease.
Just a year earlier, McGuire was blasted as a "continual boofhead" by NSW Parliament's Upper House, after he derided Goodes again for performing an Indigenous-themed war cry during the AFL's Indigenous Round.
Later in 2015, he came under fire for calling Victoria's then Sports Minister John Eren a "soccer loving Turkish-born Mussie" [Muslim].
In 2013, McGuire apologised after he compared Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes to King Kong and used the word "ape". He admitted he was guilty of racial vilification, offering to resign as Collingwood President. He was kept on.
In 2011, he called Western Sydney "the land of the falafel" during his Triple M breakfast show, as he discussed the AFL's newest team from the region.
During the Winter Olympics in 2010, McGuire described one male ice skater's costume as "a bit of a brokeback" in reference to Brokeback Mountain, a film about a love affair between two men.
"They don't leave anything in the locker room these blokes, do they?" remarked his co-host Mick Molloy, to which McGuire replied: "They don't leave anything in the closet either."