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The Melbourne Racing Club has been struck at its very core with CEO Alistair Robertson caught comparing the journalists at a media conference to prostitutes and hitmen.
After the conference was finished Robertson was overheard saying he would prefer his children to be hitmen or prostitutes rather than like the journalists which had been questioning him.
The comments stemmed mainly from a female journalist who repeatedly asked him about the most recent death in Australian jumps racing.
Three horses fell and one was put down in a Victorian jumps race on the weekend which has sparked renewed calls for the sport to be banned.
After being caught out Robertson apologised for his “stupid and inappropriate” comments, but has rejected claims he is sexist.
“I said that I would prefer my children to be hitmen or prostitutes than to be that quality of journalist. It’s not sexist in any way shape or form,” he said.
“In the heat of the moment I made a stupid comment and I’ve actually openly apologised for it this morning.”
He claims he made the statement because he felt the questioning was an insult to several important guests he had at the conference which included members of the United Arab Emirates Royal Family.
“To be honest I was actually a little angry, but I suppose I was actually a little bit embarrassed for the dignitaries present.”
“I recognise that she (the journalist) had every right to ask whatever question she wants, but in the heat of the moment I was embarrassed for the dignitaries. I made a silly comment and it was an absolutely silly comment.”
Despite apologising for his comment and claiming the quoted statement wasn’t entirely correct, he refused to clarify what it was he really said, instead saying he “didn’t want to dignify it by actually repeating it”.
He does however admit, “It was very close to that, but it was out of context.”
“I respect that she can ask, but … she wouldn’t let it go, I was embarrassed for the people, they were sitting there wondering what on earth was going on.”
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