Eddie McGuire has apologised to Caroline Wilson, retracting comments about the journalist which he understood could have been construed as encouraging domestic violence.
“I apologise and retract them in the spirit of what we’re trying to achieve, and that is to look after women and children in our community,” McGuire said.
The Collingwood president had earlier failed to apologise on both the Nine Network and in his first statement on Triple M, however he later returned to the controversy after Wilson said he had crossed the line.
McGuire came under fire on early morning television and radio on Monday, and said he was devastated that his radio banter had been interpreted in such a way.
“No one spoke of Caroline in the context of being a woman,” he told 3AW mid-Monday morning, after hours of being under siege for the comments made a week ago.
“I would have thought equality was that we can joke with each other without fear or favour in that situation.”
McGuire, North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw and All Australian selector Danny Frawley are at the centre of a controversy after suggesting Wilson should be the only participant in next year’s charity ice slide at the AFL’s Freeze MND charity match.
He said he would pledge $50,000 “if she stays under”, before going on to describe Wilson as “like a black widow” spider.
McGuire had earlier offered only a qualified apology on the Nine Network, while also referring to a similar conversation broadcast on 3AW on the same afternoon.
“I’m sorry that that was the way it was certainly perceived,” he told Today.
“These things are just – they are totally out of context and in context. At the very same time in the next commentary box 3AW were same doing the same jokes alongside Caroline Wilson, everyone was laughing about it.”
Wilson told 3AW off-air that the joke between herself and 3AW colleagues was different because she was there and it stopped when ex-Collingwood captain and coach Tony Shaw overstepped the line.
However, she said the McGuire comments had offended her.