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Eddie McGuire has been called out by a former Collingwood player over comments he made about the controversial Taylor Walker apology video.
Walker and the Adelaide Crows were slammed over what was widely described as a "staged" and "scripted" apology over a racism furore that has rocked the code.
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Crows veteran Walker appeared in a video alongside Robbie Young to issue an apology for his racist comment about the Indigenous North Adelaide player at a SANFL game.
Walker was suspended for six AFL matches and given a $20,000 fine for the comment, which was first reported by a Crows official who overheard it at a quarter-time huddle.
In a short video released by the Crows on Monday evening, Walker sat with Young and choked up several times while delivering the apology.
The clip has divided the AFL community, with many critics taking aim at Walker for not fronting the media to answer for his actions.
Discussing the video on Channel Nine's Footy Classified on Wednesday night, McGuire said he didn't have a problem with Walker's video apology, arguing that the player probably wasn't in the right mental state to front the media.
“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. There is no answer to this,” McGuire said.
The ex-Collingwood president's remark was pounced upon by former Pies star Andrew Krakouer, who responded emphatically on social media.
"The answer: Don’t be racist. If our blakness (sic) bothers you … you’re a racist," Krakouer posted alongside a photo of Walker with McGuire's quote superimposed on it.
The answer: Don’t be racist. If our blakness bothers you…you’re racist. pic.twitter.com/OQlBJiDsTL
— Andrew Krakouer (@andrewkrakouer) August 12, 2021
AFL identities butt heads over Taylor Walker apology
Walker's apology video prompted a fierce debate between McGuire and veteran AFL journalist Caroline Wilson on the Footy Classified programme.
"He (Walker) did portray himself as a bit of a victim," Wilson started off by saying.
"I didn’t like that video the other night – I think he should have fronted the media. The victims here are the four Adelaide Crows players who have to front up at work day in, day out and of course Robbie Young. This contrived bit at the beginning, I was really disappointed they left it in there."
"I got everything I needed to get out of that."
Eddie McGuire reacts to the Taylor Walker apology video and Caroline Wilson doesn't agree. #9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/LtdmnbuDGT
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) August 11, 2021
However, McGuire argued that it may have been the best approach from Walker, who has been struggling mentally from the immense shame and outrage brought about by his actions.
Wilson wasn't having a bar of that explanation and accused her colleague of making it out like Walker was the one people should be feeling sorry for.
"No, you do this every time, you make it someone else’s problem," McGuire fired back.
"We’re discussing how this was done – we all understand that he has done everything wrong in this situation. We’re looking at the next stage. Whether or not he should’ve got harsher penalties is by the by, but he has a life sentence from this now, and so he should.
"He will recover, hopefully, or he doesn’t and that will be his legacy one way or the other. But for him to be put in front of a media conference on Monday, he was not mentally prepared or able to do it."
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