Mick Malthouse in hot water over 'offensive' Anzac Day comment

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Mick Malthouse, pictured here at the AFL Finals Launch in 2017.
Mick Malthouse at the AFL Finals Launch in 2017. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Legendary former AFL coach Mick Malthouse has angered the Turkish-Australian community with comments he made during an Anzac Day speech to Collingwood players.

Malthouse, who coached Collingwood from 2000 to 2011, delivered a speech to Magpies players before their traditional Anzac Day clash with Essendon.

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The AFL's coaching games record holder spoke to the playing group on the Thursday before Anzac Day at coach Craig McRae's invitation.

It was the first time Malthouse had returned to the club since his messy exit more than a decade ago.

However part of Malthouse's speech has caused anger with Turkish-Australians.

"It's either victory or disgrace. Don't disgrace your teammate, don't disgrace your unit, don't disgrace yourself," Malthouse said.

"That opportunity, when it comes, you jump on that horse and you fire from the hip and you just take those Turks right out … [because] they're coming at you".

According to the Herald Sun, Malthouse and Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson will meet with the Turkish Melbourne Consulate General to discuss his comments.

"I find these comments very insensitive and inappropriate," said Oscar Yildiz, a councillor with Turkish heritage at Moreland City Council in Melbourne.

"I've met and spoken to Mick Malthouse a few times, he's a good man but seriously, Mick, what were you thinking?

"If he came out and apologised as it probably was a slip of the tongue, I think all would be good.

"Just not necessary, whatever was meant, no need, such comments aren't cohesive but divisive."

Mick Malthouse and Eddie Maguire, pictured here at Collingwood in 2016.
Mick Malthouse with Eddie Maguire at Collingwood in 2016. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Mustafa Sahin, an Australian-born Turk, wrote a message to the Collingwood Football Club on their Facebook page.

"I found it distasteful and offensive … poor choice of words," the Magpies fan wrote.

"Could have said: 'Fire at the enemy'. Would have been more appropriate. Why the need to add the word Turk?

"Football is supposed to unite and not divide. These words are divisive.

"I understand Mick is old school, but he should know better. We hope he can come forward and apologise for offending the Turkish community.

"Think about how many young Turkish-Australian children play Aussie Rules, and when they hear comments as divisive as this? Not a good look Mick."

Collingwood coach taps into Mick Malthouse knowledge

Speaking before the Anzac Day game, McRae said he hoped Malthouse's address could inspire his side to victory.

"I'm really happy that Mick's back at the footy club," McRae said.

"He's got such a huge history in the game and a wealth of knowledge.

"In my time here under Mick he made this game (Anzac Day) really special and we're trying to tap into his experience around that."

Malthouse coached Collingwood for 286 games, leading the club to the 2010 flag.

He previously coached Footscray and West Coast before finishing his career at Carlton at the end of the 2015 season.

He holds the AFL record for most games as coach with 718.

The 68-year-old also played 53 games for St Kilda and 121 for Collingwood in an 11-year career in the AFL.

with AAP

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