Eddie McGuire has slammed David Koch, saying the Port Adelaide chairman went “200 steps too far” with his attack on Mick Malthouse.
On Saturday, Koch reinforced his club's commitment to the AFL's China push and issued a scathing response to Malthouse's criticism of the arrangement.
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Coaching legend Malthouse last week urged the AFL to boycott China because of the country's handling of the coronavirus crisis.
But Koch told Fox Footy on Saturday that Port Adelaide would stand firm on its China deal and branded Malthouse a “dinosaur”.
“If Mick Malthouse made a comment on footy I'd give it a glancing look (but) when it comes to China, absolutely zero relevance whatsoever,” Koch said.
“If it was up to Mick Malthouse, he'd bring back the White Australia policy.”
Kochie cops backlash over shock slur
However Koch has since been savaged for the ‘White Australia’ slur, with Collingwood president McGuire the latest to take exception.
“One of the things I deplore is as soon as anyone’s got a different point of view is to be called racist, misogynistic, boys’ club, anything like that,” McGuire said on Triple M on Monday.
“All the sort of stuff that goes on now, if you’ve got a different point of view or even if you've got a slightly different point of view the pile on just comes straight up.
“I can tell you straight up that Mick Malthouse, there’s not a racist bone in Mick Malthouse’s body and he’s a broad-thinking man.
“He has done so much to look after indigenous Australians and indigenous footballers and players from all walks of life.
“He’s very generous man when it comes to people who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds from all sorts of areas who come into the club whether they could read or write or they were geniuses, all those types of things.
“I think to be slated back to White Australia was a step not too far, but about 200 steps too far from David and I hope that Kochie sort of looks back on that sand says you know what, I might’ve just acted a little bit irrationally on that one and I retract.
“I hope that he does that in the next couple of days because that was way over the odds.”
McGuire said Koch was within his rights to defend the China game, but his attack on Malthouse overstepped the mark.
“David’s absolutely entitled to argue for the benefits that come from that,” he said.
“Yes, China is a major power that we have to deal with and that’s what our governments are trying to deal with, he’s looking at that, Mick’s looking at it from a football point of view.
“I think if everyone just had their time again, you’d be able to put your point of view on it and then count it, but we didn't need to get so personal on that one.
“When you’re actually nationally aligned with promulgating the worst racist regime, I mean that’s apartheid what Australia was, that’s a big big call and one that’s too far.”
What a gutless slur David Koch regards “white Australia policy”and Mick Malthouse. He was talking about a (one)football game not endorsing a racist policy akin to apartheid. https://t.co/hiO3abyTTb— Tony Shaw (@TonyShaw22) May 9, 2020
Mick Malthouse’s comments on China
In an article that appeared in the Herald Sun, Malthouse said continuing to play matches at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium, which the league has done annually since 2017, was “the last thing” the AFL should do.
Port Adelaide has featured in all three AFL matches in Shanghai to date, firstly against Gold Coast and then St Kilda.
Later on Saturday, Malthouse took offence to Koch’s remarks and clarified he did not have an issue with Chinese people.
Instead, his gripe specifically relates to the Chinese government.
“I'm very disappointed in a bloke like David Koch for those remarks (which) are very, very offline for a start,” Malthouse told ABC Grandstand WA.
“Quite frankly, (he is) a man who's made a decision for his football club to take the money.
“I've been called a 'dinosaur' before, that's water off a duck's back. I've also made football comments before and some are right and some are wrong.”
Malthouse added he “gets on famously” with some people of Chinese descent in his extended family.
"It was the way it has come to the world, the way it has tried to be hidden by a communist regime,” he said.