MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 13: Eddie McGuire emerges from the water after going down the Freeze MND slide during the 2016 AFL Round 12 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

McGuire defends comments as ‘banter’

Eddie McGuire has defended his comments about journalist Caroline Wilson, as “in the spirit of the fun of the day”.

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McGurie and his Triple M commentary team were slammed by the AFL over their comments about Wilson last week prior to the Big Freeze at the G.

“In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson. And I’ll put in 10 grand straight away, make it 20. And if she stays under, 50,” McGuire said on triple M radio.

“What do you reckon guys? Who else is up there? I know you’re in JB?”

“No, yep, Straight in,” Brayshaw said.

“I’ll actually jump in and make sure she doesn’t, I’ll hold her under, Ed,” Danny Frawley added.

The League released a statement on Sunday night condemning the comments, before McGuire spoke about the remarks on his radio show, The Hot Breakfast on Monday.

“Anything that’s seen to promulgate or to support, even in a light-hearted manner, any form of domestic violence is unacceptable,” McGuire said.

“It was the least of anyone’s intentions, in fact it didn’t even cross anyone’s mind. The day, the Big Freeze at the ‘G, was based on good humour, sledging each other, tomfoolery.

“The whole thing was about having fun at Gill (McLachlan’s) expense, at my expense, at everyone’s expense. Neale Daniher did the gag with me saying that we’re going to get extra people to push you down and everyone’s hoping you’re not going to get out of the water.

“The fun and stupidity of what we were all doing and raising the money. It was clearly banter.

“But on White Ribbon Day we have to be ever vigilant in stamping out anything that can be misconstrued one iota to support the abhorrent act of domestic violence.”

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said in a statement on Sunday that he had contacted McGuire and Brayshaw about their comments.

“The AFL has expressed the strong view to both club presidents, and All Australian selector Danny Frawley who was also part of the discussion, that although seeking to be light-hearted, the language and tenor of the wording could be seen to be supporting violent attitudes or actions against women, and was therefore clearly not appropriate.

“All parties have told the AFL this evening they will address their comments within the next 24 hours.”

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