Eddie McGuire slaps down Jeremy Finlayson after AFL backlash around podcast comments

Finlayson backtracked after uproar around his response to an AFL ban.

Eddie McGuire has dropped a truth bomb on Jeremy Finlayson after the Port Adelaide forward's controversial response to his AFL ban. Finlayson was hit with a three-game suspension for a homophobic slur against Essendon, before causing uproar after admitting on a podcast that he was "pissed off" about the ban.

Finlayson then back-tracked after the furore around his podcast comments by admitting that he should have "provided more context". The Port star suggested his comments were misconstrued and that his frustration was around the homophobic slur he used in the game against the Bombers and the position he'd put the club in, rather than the fact he was suspended.

Pictured left is AFL identity Eddie McGuire and Port Adelaide's Jeremy Finlayson on the right.
AFL identity Eddie McGuire has taken aim at Jeremy Finlayson after the Port Adelaide star's response to his three-game ban. Pic: Getty

The drama erupted after the Port Adelaide star addressed his sanction on wife Kellie's podcast, Sh!t Talkers, which aired on Tuesday. In a segment based around "good, bad and offensive" talking points for the week, Finlayson said: "My 'offensive' is it pissed me off that I got a three-week suspension. That's it. That's tipped me over the edge. That's about it. We'll leave it there and (at) that and move on."

That section of the podcast went viral on social media and landed Finlayson in more hot water across the AFL world, before it was deleted and Finlayson sought to clarify his comments in a statement released by the club. "I said "(It) pissed me off that I got a three-week suspension, that's it, that's tipped me over the edge. We'll leave it there and (at) that'," he said in a club statement on Wednesday.

Jeremy Finlayson clarifies podcast comments amid backlash

"When re-thinking my comments today, it's clear that I should have provided more context. On reflection, I should have explained that I was bitterly disappointed that I said what I did during the game. And I am bitterly disappointed that I put myself and the club in the position I did. That is what I am most upset with.

"What I said on the field that night was totally unacceptable. I knew that at the time and I know it now. I stress, I have no issue with the sanction at all." But McGuire told Nine's Footy Classified on Wednesday night that the damage had already been done before Finlayson's follow-up explanation and suggested AFL bosses would be within their rights to slap him with another sanction.

Seen here, Jeremy Finlayson in action for Port Adelaide against Essendon in the AFL.
Jeremy Finlayson is seen here in action for Port Adelaide against Essendon in the AFL. Pic: Getty

"In this case, it wouldn't be beyond the pale of the AFL to go 'in you come again, there's the extra two (week suspension)'," McGuire said. "You're not listening. You're not getting it. You (did) not realise last week how this put everybody in the industry and the whole of the AFL under the cosh, including (Port) president David Koch. Keep it to yourself."

AFL great Jimmy Bartel agreed with McGuire's standpoint and said players should be aware that comments they make on social media or in podcasts are open to the same level of scrutiny as more traditional mediums. "Podcasts are media these days. People get very relaxed in them and tend to say things they wouldn't normally say (to the media)," Bartel said.


As part of Finlayson's sanction he will als be required to attend a Pride In Sport training program that he will have to pay for out of his own pocket. The AFL took into account the fact the 28-year-old apologised and owned up to his mistake after the Essendon game. Finlayson's ban sees him ruled out of upcoming matches against Collingwood and St Kilda, before returning for the Showdown against city rivals Adelaide in round eight.

with AAP