McGuire’s position had been scrutinized and an open letter had been received following his response to an internal report on racism in the club. The past few days had been calling his head

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, McGuire announced that he would be stepping down from his more than 22-year position

“I try my best and I don’t always get it right, but I don’t stop trying,” he said

“From the moment I turned 34 in 1998 Birthday President of Collingwood Football Club, my only motivation was to heal, unite, inspire and foster a new social conscience, not only in that club, but in sports and sports the community in general and build an organization on that would be a place for opportunities for all people “

McGuire highlighted some of the club’s philanthropic work and infrastructure improvements made during his tenure

A review commissioned by Collingwood Football Club describes an organization that is more responsive to media coverage of a racist incident than to complaints made within the club

A whiny McGuire also spoke about how he had become a “lightning rod” for criticism after citing the release of the Do Better report, which called systemic racism in Collingwood a “proud and historic day” for the club

“People stuck to my opening line last week, and as a result, I’ve become a lightning rod for vitriol, but [I] have put the club in a position where it’s difficult to move forward with our plans”he said

He said the club’s work with vulnerable Indians, as well as its many other social projects, showed that Collingwood was not a racist club

“That is why I am so proud of our club every day of the week and the people who benefit from it and are inspired by the very purpose of being Collingwood – and that is a beacon of hope for all people, especially those who that are the lowest or have been socially isolated and left behind, “he said

“I remind people that our recent review, inspired by Black Lives Matter, that part of a six-year journey of our reconciliation action plan was to consider what we need to do in the next 10 years, not the last”

People like Héritier Lumumba, Nicky Winmar, Gilbert McAdam, Robert Muir and Joel Wilkinson will be keen watchers of Collingwood’s next move, writes Russell Jackson

McGuire said he didn’t want his presence to distract players before the coming season

“When I got to Collingwood it was a club full of rivalries, enemies, and divisions,” he said

“It wasn’t the case in my day, so I don’t want any of this to cause rancor or factions

“It is better to accelerate my departure from the club from the end of the year until now”

“Our finances and plans are in full swing and with a little luck we could have cutlery in the closet by the end of the year”

Richard Goyder, chairman of the AFL commission, said McGuire made “a tremendous contribution” to Collingwood and Australian football and left the club in better shape than when it started

“Eddie’s actions today demonstrated his commitment to putting Collingwood Football Club first and ensuring the club’s focus is on implementing the 18 recommendations of the Do Better report,” he said

Toby Hemingway, president of the Collingwood Fans Care support group, which called for Mr. McGuire’s resignation, said it was an important step for the club

“We can certainly see that Ed is only a step and there is much to be done now The first step is full recognition of the pattern of racism, not just the incidents but the pattern, “he said

Collingwood’s official response to the club’s internal report on racism was on the verge of apologizing directly to those affected, and while the players have filled the void, is that enough?

Tony Armstrong, a former Collingwood player and ABC commentator, said Mr McGuire’s resignation could have further implications for sports and society

“We see, I think in this case that systemic racism in public is being taken as seriously as I think we have ever been taken,” he said

“To the point where someone we would have thought was utterly untouchable three months ago, I’ve now forced their hand and had to step back

“I think we’ll see this penetrate other industries, be it politics, business or sports, but I think we’ll see it trickle into other areas”

Former Collingwood player Dayne Beams said Mr McGuire should be remembered for all of the “amazing work” he did “for the club and football in general”

“For those who have no idea who he is, stop the negativity and your witch hunt, this guy’s a really good person,” he said

“Even during my time at Collingwood Football Club, I never had the feeling that I was involved in a racist club”

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Eddie McGuire

World News – AU – Eddie McGuire resigns as President of Collingwood following the racism report