Eddie McGuire joked about drowning female journalist

Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire has ruffled quite a few feathers with his latest joke, and it's not just the so-called "PC brigade" that's upset.

McGuire is copping it for making a "joke" on radio about drowning female sports journalist Caroline Wilson.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane weighed in on Twitter overnight, writing that the on-air comments "could be seen as supporting violent attitudes to women and was clearly inappropriate." He said the AFL had only become aware of the comments on Sunday.

The "joke" in question was aired on radio station Triple M last week, when McGuire was talking about the Big Freeze at the 'G, an event where celebrities plunge into ice to raise money for MND.

"I reckon we should start a campaign or a one-person slide next year," he said.

"Caroline Wilson, I'll put in the 10 grand straight away, make it 20, and if she stays under, 50."

Others in the studio had a good laugh and former AFL coach Danny Frawley even offered to hold her underwater. McGuire then suggested people stand around Wilson and "bomb" her.

Surf Life Saving Australia posted on Facebook on Sunday night that it was "disappointing to see high-profile media identities make light of drowning", which killed 102 people on Australia's coastline last year.

Sports writer Erin Riley drew attention to McGuire's comment in a column pointing out that it was made just days before the weekend match between the Bulldogs and the Cats to support White Ribbon.

McGuire's comments went unnoticed by most last week, but Riley wrote a damning piece which has put the Collingwood Football Club president in the spotlight.

"These are some of the most high-profile men in football joking about hurting one of football's most prominent women," Riley wrote.

"So much of our discussions about violence against women acknowledge the importance of language and of attitudes in shaping the way men think about women."

She acknowledged McGuire was making a joke, but said his comments were dangerous.
"The image of a woman being held underwater against her will while people jump on her body is a horrifying picture of violence. It is nothing less," she said.

"And make no mistake, the damage McGuire and co are doing by normalising attitudes of disrespect and violence toward a woman does more harm than a thousand themed matches and white ribbons on uniforms do good."

Twitter users labelled McGuire's comments "disgusting" and the hashtag #SackEddie emerged.

- news.com.au

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