Collingwood Football Club President Eddie McGuire played the woke game for years but he could not outrun it.
Yesterday he was forced to quit by the very people he spent much of his 22-year tenure trying so hard to impress – not the footy fans, but the woke social justice worriers.
It was telling that in his final, teary speech as club president, McGuire listed numerous achievements, not one of which related to the actual game of football.
Rather than celebrate Collingwood’s glorious 2010 premiership – played in front of nearly 100,000 frenzied fans at the MCG — he boasted about the women’s game played last Saturday to promote “gay pride”.
He used his last press conference as President to reminisce about “rainbow flags in the Collingwood cheer squad, alongside the black and white! Women of all types of size, religion, sexual orientation and cultural background”.
“It reminded me of the journey from when we established our LBGTQIA+ support group, the Pink Magpies back in the 1990s,” he said.
McGuire went on to list an impressive number of progressive causes that the Club had championed during his time in charge – from Indigenous rights issues to programs for the disabled and the homeless.
Oh, and don’t forget all the work he had done to promote the LBGTQIA+ agenda.
McGuire said that since becoming club president in 1998 “my sole motivation was to heal unite, inspire and drive a new social conscience — not just into this club but sport and the community in general”.
“I try my best and I don’t always get it right,” he cried. “But I don’t stop trying.”
The unspoken question was: ‘Do you not see how hard I have tried? After all that I have done, how is it that I find myself here?’
‘Here’ was standing before a woke firing squad with which he had previously spent a good deal of time flirting.
McGuire’s fate was not decided by Collingwood’s 85,000 paying football club members, but by a grab bag of less than 100 political activists and virtue signallers from the Greens, ALP and indigenous industries who love to cry ‘racist’ at every opportunity.
Like jackals coming in to finish a lion, they had been baying for McGuire’s blood from the moment he held a clumsy press conference to talk about an internal investigation into racism at the Club.
The investigation’s 35-page report, written by academics with a history of race activism, found six racist incidents over the past 50 years and concluded this was evidence of “systemic racism”.
McGuire called the release of the report “a proud day” for the Club.
Reasonable people knew what he meant — he was proud of the report, as opposed to proud of the culture that had occasioned the report. But since when does the mob have time for nuances?
There was blood in the water and not even McGuire could avoid the feeding frenzy, as the Left devoured one of their own.
Of course, the self-righteous mob could have paid for Collingwood memberships and voted him out. But who has time for natural justice when you’re busy doing social justice? And besides, it’s cheaper to tweet.
#eddiesgottago started trending on social media.
The Twitterati labelled McGuire a “white-splaining white male dripping in his own privilege and unrecognized bias, who with breathtaking cognitive dissonance insists with the issue of one report he’s proud to have fixed racism”.
Journalist Barrie Cassidy condemned “the club’s descent into racism”.
A group of “prominent” Australians — by which they must have meant ‘prominent in their own minds’ since hardly anyone had ever heard of them — published a letter demanding that McGuire be sacked. They even insisted that Collingwood sponsors, such as Coles and Nike, needed to demonstrate their anti-racism credentials.
Like most sensible people, I hate the Collingwood Football Club, but this was a massive over-reaction. It was Coon Cheese all over again.
When McGuire fell on his progressive rainbow coloured sword, Greens Senator Lydia Thorpe tweeted: “Well, it’s a proud day for all those who have been racially vilified in this country. The fight doesn’t stop here.”
The Senator, crowing like a rooster taking credit for the sun rising, could cross ‘claim the scalp of a high profile alleged racist’ off her to-do list.
This doesn’t exactly appear to be what John Howard once called “practical reconciliation”, but Thorpe was unimpressed by McGuire’s teary resignation.
“We refer to them as white tears” she told an ABC radio host who was not at all curious at the racist rhetoric from the anti-racism campaigner who had just forced McGuire to resign for racist rhetoric.
The Senator, along with her “prominent” activist friends, can now glory in the delusion that they have improved the lot of indigenous Australians by destroying a man who has done far more for minority groups than they will ever do.
And Eddie McGuire will be left to ponder how different things might have been if his sole motivation as President of Australia’s biggest football club had been winning games of football.
Club members would have been more than happy to have gone to the football and enjoyed the game and a meat pie, without the woke lectures.
And they would have loved McGuire far more than the woke mob he spent far too much time romancing.
Meanwhile, every other sports administrator in the land with eyes to see and ears to hear will have made a mental note… Only a fool feeds the woke beast and thinks it will not devour him.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.