Open letter to Eddie McGuire

Dear Eddie,

How are you? I hope you are well. See what I did there? I showed you kindness and respect even though I don’t like you very much. I’ll let you have that even though you haven’t earned it.

Do you know who has earned your respect at the very least? Caroline Wilson. She’s one of Australia’s best sports journalists. She’s succeeding in a field that is still largely male dominated still in 2016. She was the first woman to win the AFL’s gold media award in 1989. She has won multiple Walkley Awards. She also won Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award at the Melbourne Press Club’s annual Quill awards for her coverage of the Essendon supplement saga. But I don’t need to tell you that, you should already know.

I love Collingwood. I know you do too so we can relate to each other. I haven’t been an AFL fan for very long but I truly love it. I love going to games and talking about players and I’m more than excited for the women’s league next year. Sport as a career for women is such an exciting prospect and I’m so grateful to our club for being able to help women achieve that, not just in AFL but in netball too! I have met the most amazing women through this sport, it’s a great equaliser and important to the lives of so many.

I don’t see how you can support women’s sport and suggest drowning women “as a joke” in the same breath. You might have meant it as a joke but we are not laughing. Did you know that I’m more likely to be killed by a man I love than by anything else? If people like you who are respected in the media casually joke about violence against women it becomes more than talk, it becomes action that you allowed and encouraged. I know you don’t have daughters but that shouldn’t be the kicker – you should just support women or at the very least not wish them harm simply because they are people.

It’s getting really hard to support a club that you are in charge of when you continue to vilify marginalised groups. The same groups that make up large numbers of fans in your sport. You would be nothing without us. I’m a big fan of Meg Hutchins and the other women on your staff but you’re making it harder and harder for me to tell people what club I go for. I know you thought it was just a joke about another journalist but women don’t get the luxury of removing gender from the situation. We aren’t as lucky as you.

Do I think you should resign? Absolutely. Do I think you and I should have coffee so I can teach you about a lot of things? Only if you pay. Please do better, but do it somewhere else.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

 

Floreat Pica,
Jocelyn.

You can listen to Jocelyn read this letter out on our podcast:
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