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Shot bird: Open letter urges McGuire to step down as Magpie boss

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Pressure continues to mount on Eddie McGuire with an open letter signed by politicians and Indigenous leaders calling for the media personality to immediately step down as Collingwood president.

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McGuire, who is due to exit the AFL club’s board at the end of this year, has been under fire since the release of a damning report that uncovered a culture of systemic racism at the Magpies.

The long-serving president declared the release of the Do Better report, which came after it was leaked to the media, as a “proud and historic day” for Collingwood during a botched press conference.

The next day at the club’s annual general meeting, McGuire apologised for how he described the findings of the club-commissioned independent review.

But backing down from his initial statements has done nothing to calm talk over McGuire’s future at Collingwood, after more than 22 years in charge.

“As a major public institution, the club’s response to this report sets a dangerous example of how victims of racism should be treated in all facets of public life,” the open letter to Collingwood reads.

“Since both Collingwood and the AFL have demonstrated that they are not capable of responding to this report and its findings in an appropriate way, we as a community have no choice but to act. We say enough.

“We believe that there are administrators, staff, fans and members of the Collingwood Football Club who truly wish to see it transcend its history. This can only happen with a radical shift in leadership.

“We believe Eddie McGuire has proven himself incapable of leading the Collingwood Football Club through any meaningful transformation. We call on him to step down immediately.”

More than 70 people, including federal politicians Lidia Thorpe (Greens), as well as Peter Khalil and Anne Aly (both Labor), signed the open letter addressed to Collingwood.

Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba first raised the alarm on concerns of racism at the Magpies in 2013.

The 223-game AFL player chose not to participate in the review but his claims were the catalyst for the investigation.

The letter was also signed by former Essendon player Nathan Lovett-Murray.

-AAP

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