Eddie McGuire made a very poor joke on radio last week. Speculating with North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw and All Australian selector Danny Frawley about who could participate in next year's water-dunking Big Freeze challenge, he pledged to pay $20,000 to see veteran journalist Caroline Wilson thrown in and $50,000 "if she stays under".
The AFL have condemned the commentators who went on to suggest Wilson be forcibly "held" under the water, but while McGuire has been vocal about the matter, social media users have been far less than impressed by his "non-apology" to Wilson.
Speaking on Triple M's Hot Breakfast, the Collingwood president had plenty to say about domestic violence, repeating that “anything at all that can be perceived to promulgate domestic violence is unacceptable".
When later probed by the Today Show's Karl Stefanovic, he showed remorse but failed to address Wilson when asked if he was "sorry".
'It was a joke'
“I'm sorry that that was the way it was certainly perceived," he replied. "The commentary as I said, we were joking on the day on the slide. Everyone was joking and mucking around.
“As I said, yes, I'm sorry that that was the way it came."
McGuire went on to explain that they weren't viewing Wilson as a "woman" at the time, saying, “In the context on Monday, no one’s thinking of Caroline Wilson as being a woman, we see her as being Caroline Wilson who’s in there, who gives better than she gets and it was all the fun of the fair".
He also told 3AW "I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry that those comments have resonated that way, I am so sorry that anyone could even think that's what anyone was thinking".
Frawley copped it
Frawley meanwhile, who had remarked he'd "actually jump in and make sure she doesn't [surface]", told Fox Footy, "last Monday on radio I made a couple of insensitive and inappropriate remarks about Caroline Wilson. Clearly it was a poor attempt at humour for which I sincerely apologise."
Controversial at the best of times, the Millionaire Hot Seat host’s remarks haven’t gone down well on social media, with calls for him to be sacked.
It comes at a particularly poor time for the AFL whose Saturday night game was in support of the White Ribbon campaign to prevent violence against women.