Following the drama that surrounded Eddie Maguire’s 'joke' about drowning sports journalist Caroline Wilson on Triple M radio back in June, Holden has decided to halve sponsorship of his Collingwood Football team.
And if the fact that they are pulling the money doesn’t send a powerful enough message, then where they have chosen to relocate the funds surely will.
Holden’s managing director Mark Bernhard released a statement confirming that they will redirect more than half of the original deal towards Collingwood’s new women’s AFL team as well as the club’s community programs which work to promote diversity.
The easy thing to do would be to walk away from Collingwood, the hard road is to stick together and work side-by-side to champion diversity and continue to drive meaningful change.
That is what we have decided to do; we sponsor Collingwood, not an individual.
Industries like automotive and sporting codes like the AFL are often viewed as 'blokey' and behind the times when it comes to social issues.
We now have a chance to take a stronger leadership position. Large organisations such as Holden and Collingwood have an important role to play in reinforcing the values of diversity, equality and inclusion. We can be a stronger force working together.
Myself, and the entire Holden team, remain firm in categorically rejecting the comments made by Mr McGuire.
This was a difficult decision and I sought counsel from friends, family and colleagues. Ultimately, however, our partnership is with Collingwood and the club has a strong record of championing diversity and inclusion.
We want to continue to work together because this partnership is about more than just footy.