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Eddie McGuire steps aside from commentary after mocking double amputee

Cynthia Banham tossing the coin at Sydney’s first home game last night. Courtesy: Supplied

Eddie McGuire will not commentate today’s Essendon and St Kilda clash after he berated a double-amputee plane crash survivor yesterday for her coin toss.

He criticised Sydney Morning Herald journalist Cynthia Banham after she struggled with the coin toss at the beginning of the Swans versus Crows clash at the SCG.

I think we should introduce a $5000 fine to anybody who’s tossing the coin and can’t do it properly said a clearly oblivious McGuire.

Every week we have someone dropping it on their foot. Come on, toss it up properly for goodness sake. Practice in the week you know you’re going to do it. It can’t be that hard can it, guys.

Banham had both legs amputated after a plane crash in Indonesia in 2007.

Today the Collingwood president and broadcaster said he would not commentate today’s game.

Out of respect for Cynthia Banham and the Sydney Swans, I have requested not to call today’s game between Essendon and St Kilda McGuire said.

I unreservedly apologise to Cynthia, her family and the Sydney Football Club for the pain and hurt that my comments have caused.

The Swans issued a statement earlier today saying they were “incredibly disappointed” by McGuire’s inappropriate comments.

The comments show not only a lack of empathy, but also ignorance,” the club said in the statement.

Cynthia Banham is a passionate Sydney Swans member, our No.1 ticket-holder, and a courageous woman who is an inspiration to all of us at the club.

We are extremely proud that Cynthia was there to toss the coin for our first home game at the SCG this season.

Regardless of who is invited to toss the coin, they are doing so by invitation and as a recognition of their love of the sport or a club. It is a tradition that should be celebrated.”

McGuire apologised “unreservedly” to the Sydney Swans ambassador at half-time of the Fox Footy broadcast.

It had nothing to do with Cynthia Banham, who was the coin tosser tonight at the SCG and has a disability the Collingwood president said.

I just want to apologise if this was communicated in the wrong way, I did not mean to offend anyone, especially Cynthia, and I apologise unreservedly to her, her family and friends, Swans supporters and anybody watching tonight who took it that way. My apologies there, for that comment.