Eddie McGuire has blown up at radio host Neil Mitchell over his treatment of troubled AFL star Jordan De Goey.
The spat took place on Mitchell’s radio show on Thursday morning, with McGuire triggered by Mitchell labelling De Goey, who has ADHD, a “Bali boofhead” a day earlier.
Mitchell said on Wednesday “it can’t be a go-to for every AFL player in trouble to say ‘oh dear, I’ve got this mental health condition’.
“How does ADHD turn you into a misoginistic, anti-social Bali boofhead?”
McGuire hit back on Thursday, saying the blows were low and targeted.
“You got into a person who came out and declared he had a mental health condition that he’s being treated for for a long time,” McGuire said.
“(I gave) the most benign of critiques last night but you’re happy to come on here when you know a kid’s got mental health issues.
“You know the media does this, the pile-ons, you know there have been people who have committed suicide on the back of people just kicking the hell out of them too far in these situations.”
McGuire, who was Collingwood president from 1998 until 2021, said he came on the show to “discuss where the media takes us and then criticises people”.
“We were trying to work out, how does this guy get himself into trouble? I’m not defending him,” he said.
De Goey was hit with a suspended $25,000 fine by his club Collingwood this week after being filmed mimicking crude tongue gestures while partying in a Bali nightclub.
Days later he revealed a recent diagnosis with attention deficit disorder and lashed out about what he claimed was a “relentless pursuit of athletes by the media”.
However, Mitchell told McGuire that he simply “doesn’t understand the media anymore”.
“One thing I’ve got in my life is my reputation. I’m not a liar. I’ve got a right to defend my integrity,” he said.
“You accused me of mocking mental health and I’m not.”
Mitchell said McGuire had his own long history of lambasting public figures through media commentary.
“Remember this is the same Eddie who called Adam Goodes ‘King Kong’ and wanted to drown Caroline Wilson at the Big Freeze,” he said.
“To paraphrase Julia Gillard, I will not be lectured on decency by this man.
“I would normally ignore a massive sledge I copped from Eddie McGuire on TV last night but I can’t ignore it.”
McGuire hit back by saying Mitchell had himself driven a list of people he wouldn’t name to “very dark places”.
The Bali incident is 26-year-old De Goey’s latest in a years-long string of scandals.
In 2017, De Goey broke his hand during an incident in a St Kilda bar and initially lied to the club, telling officials he injured it while playing with his dog.
A year later he was suspended by Collingwood after being caught drink-driving and fined $10,000.
In July 2020, De Goey and another man were charged by Victoria Police with indecent assault, stemming from an incident that was alleged to have taken place with a woman in 2015.
However, the prosecutors withdrew the charge laid against both men the following year and agreed to pay De Goey’s legal costs.
In October 2021, De Goey was arrested at a nightclub in New York City and charged with forcible touching of a 35-year-old woman and the assault of a 37-year-old man.
The charge of forcible touching was dropped and he was offered a plea bargain to downgrade the remaining assault charge to second-degree harassment in January 2022.