Jeff Browne accused of making an ‘appalling and disrespectful’ joke at Collingwood’s AFLW awards night

Collingwood president Jeff Browne’s attempt at humour at the club’s AFLW awards night didn’t go down well. Find out what he said and the reaction.

Collingwood president Jeff Browne has been accused of making an “appalling and disrespectful’’ joke about Jordan De Goey’s New York antics at the club’s AFLW awards night.

The joke made light of De Goey’s behaviour in a New York bar, in which he pleaded guilty to a downgraded harassment charge.

It came after a cohort of female Collingwood players had approached club bosses and officially complained about De Goey’s behaviour.

Browne’s attempt at humour — at the April 22 event — came at the end of his presidential speech given in front of players, officials, parents and sponsors.

“I hear some of you girls are going overseas tomorrow. I have a message for you from Jordan De Goey, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,’’ Browne said.

The comment is believed to have prompted awkward laughter, disbelief and anger among the largely female audience.

Browne — and similar to the approach by his predecessor Eddie McGuire — is accused of making a joke about a serious situation.

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Jeff Browne has been accused of making an ‘appalling and disrespectful’ joke. Picture: Britta Campion
Jeff Browne has been accused of making an ‘appalling and disrespectful’ joke. Picture: Britta Campion

A sponsor at the AFLW awards night said: “It just shows that nothing has changed at Collingwood, they’ve learnt nothing, and it’s an issue from the top down.’’

The Pies on Monday revisited the video of the speech and told the Herald Sun it was a bad joke.

Browne said: “I made a comment at our best and fairest night which, in hindsight and given the events of the past week, using Jordan as a reference point was not a good example.

“At the time, we had a group of athletes heading overseas the following day and the only intention of my comments were to caution those athletes to not misbehave.’’

Two separate sponsors told the Herald Sun they were disappointed by Browne’s comment on the night.

One of the sponsors, who is also a 25-year club member and a foundation AFLW member, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing at first.

“I turned to the person next to me and said: ‘Did he really just make a Jordan De Goey joke?’

“And they just shook their heads in disbelief.

“It was so disrespectful. It would always be inappropriate, but on a night to celebrate the women’s team, it was just appalling.

Jordan De Goey has had recent behavioural issues. Picture: Getty Images
Jordan De Goey has had recent behavioural issues. Picture: Getty Images

“I can’t imagine how the players felt having their season and achievements reduced to a joke.”

Another sponsor said: “I can’t believe he would be stupid enough to say that.’’

Browne’s comment came four months after a group of Collingwood AFLW players expressed their angst about De Goey’s behaviour in New York and demanded the club take strong action.

At the time, Magpies chief executive Mark Anderson said of De Goey’s behaviour:

“We can’t be in this situation again. He’s understanding that.’’

Last week, the Pies and the AFL condemned De Goey’s behaviour in Bali as the club imposed a $25,000 suspended fine on their star playmaker.

“Disrespect of women is not to be tolerated and we are very, very strong on providing an environment within Collingwood that provides a safe and respectful environment for all women,’’ Anderson said last week.

Originally published as Jeff Browne accused of making an ‘appalling and disrespectful’ joke at Collingwood’s AFLW awards night

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