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"He has to go": Senator calls for McGuire to stand down as open letter support grows


Multiple federal MPs, a leading senator and a former player are among around 100 people demanding in an open letter that Collingwood president Eddie McGuire step aside as the fallout to the report into systemic racism at the club continues.

The letter came on the back of the club’s response to the 'Do Better' report, which was leaked last week despite being handed down in late December.

Signed by the likes of Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe and Federal Labor MPs Peter Khalil and Anne Aly, the letter said the club’s hastily arranged press conference was “unacceptable and insulting to those who have suffered vilification”.

“We believe Eddie McGuire has proven himself incapable of leading the Collingwood Football Club through any meaningful transformation,” the letter read.

“We call on him to step down immediately.”

Senator Thorpe said support for the letter was steadily growing and the only way change would happen at Collingwood is if McGuire stepped aside.

“I have about five pages of signatures in front of me so the support is growing,” she said on SEN’s Whateley.

“But what saddens me is that systemic racism is so entrenched, it means that a lot of our current and ex-footballers can’t speak and they’ve basically been gagged.

“Systemic racism means it’s a system problem and the only way to fix that is via the head of the organisation accepting it for what it is and taking action.

The first action he should be taking is to step down and all the club to take action by accepting the findings from the Do Better report.”

“He has to go, if Collingwood are serious he has to go and be made an example of.”

Senator Thorpe said the detailed letter stemmed from the club's response to the landmark Do Better report, saying it was now vital Collingwood made long-term change.

“I support the letter wholeheartedly with a number of other signatures, particularly aboriginal people and traditional owners," she said.

“(The letter) originated from the frustration that has been felt by many and the lack of leadership and action that the Collingwood Football Club have had since this has all come out.

“If we want to address systemic racism in this country, it needs to come from the top. Eddie knows he’s been responsible for racist slurs and systemic racism, not just recently but over a long period of time as the president of Collingwood.

“Enough is enough, we can’t have people in leadership positions like this running any kind of organisation like Collingwood.”

Former Essendon player Nathan Lovett-Murray and author Dr Tony Birch have also signed the letter.

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