Eddie McGuire: Pride in Corruption

Thursday morning, on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire, the host offered a disconcerting insight into his world view whilst attempting to summarise the latest flare up of the Essendon saga. His insight took the form of a proud boast, an endorsement of corruption.

‘This is what people have forgotten, everyone has amnesia on this. The whole thing is to try…’, he began.

He failed to finish that sentence correctly. Were he honest, competent and focused on current events, he would have concluded, ‘…to distract the public from the systemic corruption of the AFL, of which I am a major contributor’.

But that’s a digression. Or more aptly, a spoiler.

He actually concluded, ‘…to protect the Essendon players; they’re the innocent victims in all this.’

There are so many problems with that sentence fragment it is difficult to know where to begin.

McGuire’s sentiments can be condensed to his now infamous catch cry expressed in his best bogan voice, ‘just shut up’.

McGuire’s contention is that if his ‘boys club’ is permitted to privately conduct proceedings, they can prevent or reduce any possible sanctions, and then following ASADA’s findings the individuals involved will be afforded the opportunity to speak their piece without prejudicing the case.

Those who choose to accept McGuire’s stance can, but be aware that for his pose to hold you must believe, and condone, the following:

  1. Essendon are guilty of doping.
  2. Athletes are not ultimately responsible for the substances they use.
  3. The ‘boys club’ are attempting to control the public discourse.
  4. Media silence will allow back-room deals to subvert justice.
  5. ASADA cannot reopen a closed case.
  6. An international governing body (WADA) will acquiesce to the demands of a few corrupt Melbournian businessmen.
  7. The ‘Hird camp’ (including James and Tania; a handful of dissenting journalists denounced as ‘cheerleaders’; a wide array of lawyers – retained, former, and independent; and – up until a combination of media and peer pressure forced an uneasy alliance with the AFL – the club itself) are actively fighting to uncover a truth that will incriminate Hird and the Essendon Football Club.

These requisites are so outlandish, it would be an insult to anyone wearing a tin foil hat or camping out at Roswell to label it a ‘conspiracy theory’.

Point (1) is, at best, questionable given the lack of evidence.

Point (2) claims, as McGuire articulated above, that the players are ‘innocent victims’. The anti-doping code disagrees. Athletes are always responsible for the substances that enter their bodies, whether aware or not.

Point (3) is true by direct admission of McGuire, one of the operation’s key architects. This desire has been supported by most of the media throughout the entire saga.

Point (4) is probably the most disturbing. It depends on the acceptance of the oxymoronic concept of ‘noble corruption’; the big end of town have, and should have, the power to pervert the course of justice. While disturbing, this appears to be a given in most societies.

Point (5) is patently false. There is no such thing as a ‘closed’ case. Matters can always be revisited at a later date. Were ASADA to receive new information, or – as McGuire’s views imply – be angered by public scrutiny or having their shortcomings exposed, they could amend their findings.

Point (6) is beyond even McGuire’s soaring ambition. WADA will overrule any conclusion they consider inaccurate, or sanctions they consider insufficient, and no afternoon game show host has the power to prevent that.

Point (7) relies upon an unimaginable degree of self-destructive stupidity. Were I guilty and my ‘punishment’ was a year’s vacation with pay and a study trip in Europe, the only risk of me breaking a confidentiality agreement would be from spontaneously bursting into laughter whenever the case was discussed. Most innocent people would be happy to sign such a contract, especially given it contained no admission of guilt. To suggest ‘cheerleaders’ are fighting to incriminate their own ‘team’, especially in light of such generous bribes, is absurd.

Those who wish to accept this convoluted insult to human intellect are welcomed to do so, but there is a much more plausible explanation.

The truth of points (2), (5) and (6), completely negates the stated objectives of the accepted media narrative. The players will not be cleared by anything other than their innocence. These points can be eliminated along with their publicly stated justifications. The ‘boys club’ are not fighting for Essendon, nor their players. They do not have that power.

The self-refuting incoherence of (7) suggests those with intimate knowledge of the case know that (1) is either wrong, or at the very least, unsustainable. These, too, can reasonably be rejected.

This leaves only (3) and (4); a corrupt conglomerate attempting to privately negotiate unlawful outcomes with the aid of a dependant media who share their goals, and in many cases, the same personnel.

Considering this orchestration isn’t able to protect the Essendon players, their endless distractions and diversions must be to protect something else; namely themselves.

It is little wonder they are fighting so hard.

‘In the race of life, always back self-interest; at least you know it’s trying.’ – Jack Lang

If you accept Essendon are innocent, the powers that be have engineered an outcome to satisfy public relations and appear tough on PEDs by sacrificing a scapegoat. Manipulating PR outcomes is a well established goal corroborated by years of misconduct.

If – despite the obvious flaws – you maintain Essendon’s guilt, the depth of deception only increases. Not only are the ‘boys club’ masterminding unlawful outcomes, but their attempted cover-up now involves defending a systematic doping regime.

Irrespective of the facts, which remain concealed from the public eye, the criminal culpability of the industry’s heavyweights remains incontrovertible.

It appears the sentiments of Stephen Dank are correct when he asserts the ‘body count’ will continue to grow and it ‘will come further up the chain’.

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