Well Eddie is not happy his players have been named. But I wonder if it were on the other foot and he has his media hat on from the footy show days and the players were from another club, would he be willing to announce the “Exclusive” like he did many times as host of the show? Bloody oath…Eddie is of course protective of his players as President, but he has forgotten where he came from…
UPDATE 10.52am: COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has labelled Neil Mitchell a “self-appointed, self-important windbag” after the 3AW host named the players interviewed by police regarding a sexual assault.
Premiership player Dayne Beams and teammate John McCarthy have been named as being the players who have been interviewed by police regarding a sexual assault.
McGuire hit out at radio talk-back host Mitchell at the end of his Triple M breakfast show this morning, after the 3AW broadcaster named the duo on his program this morning.
“Collingwood Football Club, of which I am the president, has not said anything other than it will protect the rights of people,” McGuire said.
“Collingwood Football Club and the players involved have openly co-operated with every situation asked of us.
“Neil Mitchell is a self-appointed, self-important windbag.
“He talks of fairness? This is the hypocrisy of Neil Mitchell.”
McGuire said Mitchell promoted the rights of all people to be equal in the eyes of the law “unless they’re someone he wants to name.”
“It is damned well irresponsible.”
McGuire also hit out at Mitchell’s accusations that media outlets had been threatened with legal action by the club if they revealed the players involved.
“But to put the word ‘club threat’ (makes it) sound like we’re bullies. It is a complete an unmitigated lie and misrepresentation of (the) situation.”
Mitchell today said he had named the men “in the name of fairness, but I may very well make enemies by doing it”.
He said he had confirmed the names with “several sources”, but stressed that “these men are not guilty of anything and strongly deny any wrongdoing”.
“All they’ve done is cooperate with police,” Mitchell said.
“If anything illegal happened, and we don’t know that, they may have been witnesses in that they were in the flat and they may have information to help police.”
But he said the names should be made public, because it was “unfair to other Collingwood players”; a precedent of other players being named in other situations; and the rumours wrongly naming other Pies players both on the internet and in the community.
“So why should Collingwood players be any different here?” Mitchell said today.
He said the names being public, “goes with the territory” of being a public figure.
He said it was wrong that he now faced a threat of being sued by Collingwood as a result of naming the players.
“I believe I can name them as long as I make clear the solid possibility that they’ve done nothing wrong, even if a sexual assault occurred, and we don’t even know that.
“They may just be witnesses, not participants.”
He again called on the club to confirm the names.
The investigation centres around an alleged sexual assault in South Melbourne hours after Collingwood’s historic premiership win on Saturday.
No charges have been laid. The pair have denied any wrong doing. The Herald Sun does not suggest that there is an allegation against the pair. It may be that they are witnesses only because they were at the house at the time of the alleged incident.
The identification comes hours after Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe slammed the circulation of the alleged players’ names online.
“Victoria Police hasn’t released any names whatsoever,” Deputy Commissioner Walshe said.
Mr Walshe said he assumed investigators had been consulted about one of the players allegedly involved going overseas.
AFL Players’ Association spokesman Ian Prendergast said the players were “vigorously denying the allegations”.
He emphasised that no charges had been laid.
“We encourage everyone to respect that and not pre-judge it,” he said.
It is not the first time Beams, taken with pick 29 in the 2008 draft, has caused headlines for the wrong reasons.
Collingwood suspended the tattooed forward for the club’s last practice match this year after a member of the Magpies “family” spotted him out late at night and dobbed him in.
Gold Coast-bred Beams, 20, starred in his debut season last year, playing 18 games.
McCarthy, 20, was drafted from the Dandenong Stingrays in 2007.
The tall midfielder-forward was impressive in the handful of games he played in 2008 before being hamstrung by injury last year.
He only managed two games this year.
Some Pies stars celebrated the flag – the club’s first in 20 years – at Eve nightclub in South Melbourne on Saturday night.
Other teammates, coaching staff, sponsors and supporters partied at a private gathering at Tonic bar at Crown on Saturday night.
Many of the Pies players spent yesterday relaxing in Bali ahead of recently retired teammate Shane O’Bree’s wedding this weekend
- Sex-probe Pies deny wrongdoing, says AFLPA (theage.com.au)
- Ex-Footballer Blames The Victim – Via Twitter – In Alleged Assault [The Twits] (jezebel.com)
- Magpies players named (theage.com.au)
- McGuire lashes Mitchell (theage.com.au)