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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Eddie McGuire steps aside from afternoon commentating duties in wake of Cynthia Banham coin toss comments

Eddie McGuire has stepped down from this afternoon’s AFL commentating duties in the wake of an uproar over comments he made about amputee Cynthia Banham.
Banham, the former journalist and plane crash survivor who lost a leg in 2007, was part of the pre-game ritual during last night’s clash between the Swans and Adelaide at the SCG.
Speaking on Fox Footy, the Collingwood president raised the prospect of introducing a $5000 fine for anyone who “can’t do (the coin toss) properly”.
“Every week you get someone drop it on their foot,” he said.
“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 apologised for the remarks at half time after a swift outcry from social media users and viewers.
“I did not mean to offend anyone, especially Cynthia, and I apologise unreservedly to her and her family and friends and Swans supporters and anybody watching tonight who took it that way,” he said.
But it was not enough for the Sydney Swans, who slammed the commentator for his words.
“The Sydney Swans are incredibly disappointed by inappropriate comments made tonight by Eddie McGuire,” a statement read.
“The comments show not only a lack of empathy, but also ignorance.”
It’s not the first time McGuire has had to apologise, with on-air comments about Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes and veteran sports reporter Caroline Wilson also prompting statements of regret.
McGuire released a statement this morning saying he had requested not to call the afternoon match between Essendon and St Kilda out of respect for Banham.
“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 the statement.