Media mogul Eddie McGuire has issued a second apology following his mockery of journalist and double amputee Cynthia Banham’s coin toss before the Sydney Swans and Adelaide Crows match last Friday.
Describing it as an “unfortunate sequence of events”, McGuire apologised on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast this morning, after he also issued a statement following the insensitive gaffe on Friday.
Banham, a former SMH journalist who had both legs amputated after a plane crash in 2007, looked as though she struggled to toss the coin while also holding her walking stick.
Commenting, McGuire said: “I think we should introduce a $5000 fine to anybody who’s tossing the coin and can’t do it properly.
“Every week, we have someone dropping it on their foot. Come on, toss it up properly, for goodness sake. Practice in the week, you know you’re going to do it. It can’t be that hard can it, guys?”
McGuire was left red-faced after his oblivious joke, with the Swans issuing a statement early Saturday morning saying they were “incredibly disappointed” by McGuire’s “inappropriate comments”.
This morning’s apology was the second public statement issued by McGuire and the third time he said sorry for his “ignorant” joke.
He said: “It was completely just an unfortunate sequence of events, but I own them. There was no problem with producers or anyone in the studio or co-hosts, this was solely me.
“I didn’t see any of the lead up to the toss and I had no information on the toss, I didn’t know who was doing the toss, I wasn’t looking at the monitor and out of the corner of my eye I saw the coin flick out and I went off on a tangent of jocularity.”
Following the incident, McGuire decided to step down from calling the Essendon and St Kilda game on Saturday.
Fox Sports chief executive Peter Campbell issued an apology to Banham, saying the network was “disappointed with the comments”.
McGuire told station listens this morning he would have “never made light of a person with a disability” and that he is “profoundly sorry”.
He also said he hopes to get the chance to apologise to Banham in person.
“I don’t go out to try and be a smart alec”, he added. “There have been some instances that I’ve been involved in which have been unintentional, but they’re there, and I own them and I have to face up to them.”
It’s not the first time McGuire has been caught in controversy for his insensitive jokes.
In 2013, he was lambasted for a “King Kong” comment he made about former Swans player Adam Goodes. In 2016, he was slammed following a joke he made about drowning Melbourne journalist Caroline Wilson.