• AFL personalities Shelley Ware and Andrew Krakouer have slammed Eddie McGuire's comments over the Taylor Walker apology video (NITV News)Source: NITV News
The former Collingwood president, who stood down this year after the club was found guilty of systemic racism, said he had 'no issues' with Taylor Walker's apology video.
Douglas Smith, Jodan Perry

13 Aug 2021 - 5:11 PM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2021 - 5:11 PM

A number of First Nations identities have pulled up former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire after his comments about Taylor Walker's racism apology video.

The pre-recorded video, which has been called out by many in the Indigenous community, showed Adelaide's Taylor Walker reading a scripted apology to Ngarrindjeri and Narunnga man Robbie Young, after the former directed a racial slur at him last month.

Walker finished the video by saying "I'm going to lean on you Robbie, I'm going to lean on the AFL and others around me to support me." 

On Channel Nine on Wednesday, journalist Caroline Wilson said she didn't like the video and "he did [Walker] portray himself as a bit of a victim."

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McGuire then attempted to speak over Wilson, saying he didn't think the video was "contrived" and that he would "roll that all day."

"If you apologise, it’s all spin. If you don’t apologise, then you’re recalcitrant. If you apologise too much, then you’re adding mayonnaise to it," said McGuire. 

"You can sometimes say things where the words come out – it happened with me with Adam Goodes."

Well respected educator and AFL identity Shelley Ware said McGuire, who stood down as Collingwood president this year when the club was found guilty of systemic racism, was clearly the wrong person to be discussing the issue.

“What Eddie McGuire did is not good enough and he shouldn’t have a voice in this space at the moment because his actions haven’t actually warranted any kind of forgiveness in my opinion," she told NITV News.

"Caroline Wilson said exactly what people needed to hear, that it's (racism) not ok and Eddie McGuire was essentially just coming out as 'I'm still a victim of what I went through', and he overtook the whole entire panel and he was only pushing his own agenda and it was actually quite a damaging agenda.  

“People with lived experiences need to be a part of those conversations… I say it over and over and over again… what we saw was, people who put us in those lived experiences… Eddie McGuire has put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of colour in a lot of trauma through his actions and he thought he had the right to have a voice at this time… he just didn’t.”

Former Collingwood star Andrew Krakouer also weighed in on social media, posting a shot of McGuire's comments with "The answer: Don't be racist. If our blakness bothers you ... you're a racist."

Standing with Eddie Betts

Three-time AFL Premiership player for the Lions and Yokayi Footy host, Darryl White followed up Eddie Betts' emotional plea to stamp our racism in the country.

Betts, a Wirangu and Kokatha man and Carlton legend appeared on Fox Footy on Tuesday night, saying he was drained after the latest in a long line of racial attacks against our people.

"I've been dealing with this (racism) my whole life, my mother has, my father has and it's tiring... it hurts and it's draining," he said.

“It just keeps happening, I’m sick of it."

White then backed his calls on NITV's Yokayi Footy.

“This is a national issue… we’ve got to look at our past and start telling the truth,” he said.

“Those truths will inform our present… and it starts at home. How do you raise your kids, what values are you instilling, what words and attitudes are permissible behind closed doors as a joke between family?

“If you’ve been raised in a cultural prejudice, it’s up to you to break the cycle as an adult.

“We’re [Indigenous community] feeling big hurt… but in little moments… you can make a real big change.

“We’ll keep educating in public… but behind closed doors, where racism begins… that’s up to you.”

All clubs speak up

Adelaide Crows midfielder, Rory Sloane said the club was committed to stamping it out as all 18 clubs in the AFL released statements condemning racism and backing Betts' calls.

“We stand alongside all Australians in the fight against racism which has no place in football or the community," said the Crows.  

“We are committed to calling it out, stamping it out and educating about the hurt and damage it causes to our First Nations people.”

The West Coast Eagles also released a video with Nic Naitanui speaking against racism, with the 31-year-old saying he would love to "see a day when this [making videos] is not necessary."

Kozzy a 'superhuman that we love'

The Melbourne Demons small forward Kysaiah "Kozzy" Pickett was also targeted by a putrid troll on social media this week, with the club saying it was not enough to just condemn racism. 

Pickett was racially abused online following the Demon's win against West Coast in Perth on Monday night.

The club said it reported the incident to the AFL Integrity Unit, which would now investigate the incident and those involved.

On Thursday, head coach Simon Goodwin said it was upsetting to see Pickett visibly stressed from the incident. 

“Seeing Kozzy post-game, being able to give him a hug and see the visible stress he was under makes it incredibly upsetting," said Goodwin. 

"Kozzy has had a tough couple of days, he’s struggled. 

"We will continue to fight for the Indigenous population because this needs to stop.

"Kozzy is superhuman that we love at our footy club."

Carlton backs Betts

Betts’ current team, the Blues said they wholeheartedly remained committed to being an active participant in the fight against racism.

"The onus is on all of us to simply be better in creating a more equal and respectful space for each other,” said the Blues.

“As part of an industry where access to resources and programming is high, there is simply no excuse for any individual to fall short on the standards required to be respectful of others.

"Challenging behaviours and attitudes, calling it out amongst our own networks and most important of all, listening and learning, is what we must do to eradicate racism from our game and from society.”

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