Australian sports club president apologizes for 'King Kong' jibe

Indigenous Australian Adam Goodes has been playing for the Sydney Swans since 1999.

Story highlights

  • An AFL team owner has apologized after comparing a player to King Kong
  • Eddie McGuire, president of the Collingwood team, made the comment on his radio show
  • McGuire has apologized to Sydney Swans' indigenous Australian player Adam Goodes
  • Tiger Woods was recently "hurt" by a comment made by fellow golfer Sergio Garcia

Sport's battle with racism and discrimination has suffered a further setback after a senior Australian administrator compared an athlete to "King Kong."

Eddie McGuire, president of the Collingwood Australian Rules Football team, has apologized unreservedly after describing Adam Goodes, an indigenous Australian playing for the Sydney Swans, as an ideal person to promote the musical of the 1930s classic film.

"Get Adam Goodes down for it, do you reckon?" McGuire, a businessman and TV presenter, said on the radio show he presents.

"You can see them doing that can't you? Goodsey," continued McGuire. "You know with the ape thing, the whole thing, I'm just saying pumping him up and mucking around, all that sort of stuff."

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McGuire, who will go through the Australian Football League's (AFL) Racial and Religious Vilification Policy, received the backing of the Collingwood board on Thursday.

"I apologize to Adam Goodes, to the Indigenous people of Australia and every Indigenous sportsperson," McGuire told a press conference.

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McGuire announced he would not be stepping down in light of the incident, with the board standing by a man they claim has "led with distinction for almost 15 years."

"I understand the questions surrounding my leadership but with the support of my fellow directors I remain committed to the Collingwood Football Club and all that it stands for," McGuire said in a Collingwood statement.

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Goodes tweeted a link to an article about McGuire's comment on the AFL's official website on Wednesday.

"Morning Australia this is what I have woken up to t #racismitstopswithme #bigweekinfooty," said the 33-year-old from his verified Twitter account.

Racism in sport was again thrust into the limelight last week when golf was at the center of a discrimination storm.

When asked if he would invite world No. 1 Tiger Woods to dinner during next month's U.S. Open, Spain's Sergio Garcia replied: ""We'll be having him round every night... and serving him fried chicken."

Woods, a 17-time major winner, described the comments as "wrong, hurtful and inappropriate," with Garcia subsequently issued a full apology.

Soccer has also been grappling with high-profile incidents of racism.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the playing field after he was subject to "monkey chants" during AC Milan's recent match against Roma.

European football's governing body UEFA recently announced a raft of new anti-discrimination sanctions.

Players and officials found guilty of racism offenses will be hit with 10-match bans, while clubs whose fans breach discrimination rules will be subjected to part or complete closure of their stadiums.

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