Eddie McGuire has apologised profusely for his on-air gaff. Picture: Mark Stewart
Eddie McGuire has apologised profusely for his on-air gaff. Picture: Mark Stewart

‘Genuinely hurt’: McGuire saga coin-tossing saga continues

SYDNEY Swans No.1 ticket holder Cynthia Banham has been left "genuinely hurt" by the comments from Eddie McGuire last week.

The AFL announced a few days ago the league was not in a position to take any disciplinary action against the Fox Footy luminary and Collingwood club president after McGuire released a series of apologies where he made it clear he didn't know Banham had a disability when he mocked her during the coin toss before Sydney's clash with Adelaide at the SCG.

With McGuire returning to his regular duties with Triple M and Fox Footy this week, the controversy has been largely forgotten.

However, the Swans are not ready to forgive and forget.

Sydney chief executive Tom Harley revealed on Saturday the club did not consider the case closed and pointed out that Banham had been wounded after McGuire's comments dragged her into a national scandal.

Banham, the Swans' No.1 ticket holder and a respected former journalist, lost her legs in a 2007 plane accident and held her walking stick as she performed the pre-game coin toss.

Having seen a wayward toss, McGuire said there should be a $5000 fine for anyone who didn't toss the coin properly.

"Every week, we have someone dropping it on their foot," McGuire said on Friday night.

"Come on, toss it up properly, for goodness sake."

It was reported in the aftermath that McGuire reached out to Banham to apologise in person and also reportedly sent a letter to apologise for his criticism.

It has not been reported publicly if Banham has accepted McGuire's apology.

Harley told SEN Crunch Time on Saturday the Swans were only satisfied with their own response to the controversy.

"As we said straight after the game, we're extremely disappointed and remain extremely disappointed that someone like Cynthia, who is as classy an individual as I've come across, is genuinely hurt," he said.

"And as a footy club we've had a couple of key people hurt over the journey and quite frankly it's not good enough.

"We will support her to the hilt and we will continue to do what's right. My view on decision-making is pretty simple: you do the right thing, for the right reason, and we will be behind her all the way."

When AFL commentator Gerrard Whateley suggested to Harley that the Swans appeared to have stopped commenting on the story in order to take pressure off Banham, Harley responded: "Yeah, that's a fair comment."

The former Geelong captain also sidestepped questions about whether the club's relationship with McGuire was fractious.

Swans Ambassador Cynthia Banham tosses the coin ahead of the round-two match between the Sydney Swans and Adelaide Crows. Picture: Cameron Spencer
Swans Ambassador Cynthia Banham tosses the coin ahead of the round-two match between the Sydney Swans and Adelaide Crows. Picture: Cameron Spencer

"She's very self-effacing and we're not going to give more oxygen to it for the benefit of others," he said.

McGuire earlier said he hoped to get a chance to apologise to Banham in person after saying the on-air gaffe left him feeling "physically ill".

Following a flood of criticism, McGuire attempted to explain his foot-in-mouth moment on Monday, saying he had been in the studio in Melbourne and couldn't see who was tossing the coin.

He said he found out about halfway through the first quarter and felt physically ill.

"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 and that's what it was, it was mucking around," he said.

"It wasn't having ago at coin tossers. It's a bit of a thing I have been mucking around with for a little while about the coin toss.

"I had absolutely no visibility whatsoever as to what was going on in Sydney. I was actually in a parallel universe, I was talking about one thing and the pictures were somewhere else. It was an unfortunate sequence of events."

The Swans will support her to the hilt.
The Swans will support her to the hilt.

McGuire said he would have never made light of a person with a disability, and he extended his apology to Banham's family, the Swans and the AFL.

"I have apologised unreservedly and at the appropriate time, I hope to get the opportunity to do so personally," he said.

McGuire stood himself down from his Fox Footy commentary duties last weekend.

Swans chairman Andrew Pridham called for action against McGuire but the AFL declined to sanction the media personality.

The latest gaffe cameafter he once joked about drowning respected football writer Caroline Wilson, and  six years ago he suggested Adam Goodes promote the King Kong musical days after he was racially abused by a Collingwood fan.

- with AAP

News Corp Australia

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