Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not good enough, Eden Park

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  • Megan Wegan,

    “If she’s saying that she was isolated and that it shouldn’t be acceptable, it’s not our job – I don’t believe – to try to move the cultural morals of society.”

    No, but it is the park's management's job to keep people in the crowd safe, right?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    No, but it is the park’s management’s job to keep people in the crowd safe, right?

    Exactly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Kilpatrick NZ,

    It's a shocking response from Eden Park - essentially as it's condoning the use of hate slurs.

    I applaud Hannah Spyksma for standing up to these morons, especially as it's a hugely difficult thing to do in that situation.

    I had a similar issue back in Scotland at a football match. Some drunken idiots were sitting behind me, trying to break some seats and were abusing an old guy in the crowd.

    Notionally there were supporters of the same team as I was but I had had enough and, despite the protestations of my parents, I turned around and let them have it.

    There was no support from anyone around me despite these morons annoying everyone yet I was warned that I could be in trouble for my behaviour. All I had done was tell the guys to shut up or I would get the police over and have them ejected.

    It's a pity no-one around her was able to support her to ensure these idiots didn't get away with their physical and verbal abuse.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just got a tweet from Hannah -- who it turns out follows me:

    Thanks for this. Agree that for the most part, abusive behaviour isn't typical - I've also had good times at many games!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Johnny Canuck,

    A disgraceful cop-out from Eden Park's spokesperson.

    Don't think the boofheads would have lasted too long in an NHL arena, where there are frequent requests to report abusive language and swearing, etc., and a keenness to kick out the offenders.

    Vancouver BC • Since Feb 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I very rarely go to rugby games. However I went to a MLB game in 2006 when Boston was visiting Toronto (great fun!) and the security was quite actively seeking our people in the crowd and throwing them out of the facility. To the extent that they threw out a couple of poor local kids who had the misfortune to be misidentified as the rowdy Boston supporters sitting next to them.

    Once in Queenstown at an ice hockey game in a crowd of 500 or so with my 12 year old son I asked a person sitting next to us to stop abusing the referee (who was simply making good calls against the home team) and he argued with me that he would continue to do so until the referee opened his eyes. Didn't achieve the desired effect, but I was always glad that I spoke up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6241 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Mike Kilpatrick NZ,

    It's a shocking response from Eden Park - essentially as it's condoning the use of hate slurs.

    This. The response goes beyond just failing to condemn homophobic bullying, and into supporting it. "PC Police" is the kind of language these men would, I think, use themselves. It's the kind of language people will be using on Radio Sport today.

    But there's also a really useful and unpleasant lesson for bystanders here: your silence will be taken as assent. She's saying society supported these men, because nobody spoke up. Not because anybody else joined in with them, but because nobody supported Hannah. We have to do better.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Emma Hart,

    your silence will be taken as assent.

    First they came...
    It is a very, very poor response from Eden Park, and deserves to be decried as such. Sadly, though, they will probably draw a lot of support from the usual talkback suspects and wave that around if challenged by cooler public heads. They certainly won't get a dressing-down from John "gay red shirt" Key or anyone else who might carry sufficient weight to make a public slapping stick.

    It would be nice if NZRFU came out against the response, but I really cannot see that happening. "PC Police", etc.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    John “gay red shirt” Key

    He’s no longer called a “big swinging dick” then?

    who might carry sufficient weight to make a public slapping stick.

    Ah. My mistake.

    More seriously: WTF, Eden Park? Just who are they trying to attract to games? Or is it only about not losing what they fondly imagine as being their traditional supporter?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1669 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    But there's also a really useful and unpleasant lesson for bystanders here: your silence will be taken as assent. She's saying society supported these men, because nobody spoke up. Not because anybody else joined in with them, but because nobody supported Hannah. We have to do better.

    No. Silence is not taken as assent.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Had I not replied you might have considered others accepted your opinion as true.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Kilpatrick NZ, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    From the Herald article: "But unless everyone else around Ms Spyksma was offended by the men's slurs, they would likely not have been kicked out." So in this case, as I believe Emma was pointing out, the fact no-one else complained WAS taken as assent.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Well done Hannah - really the only way this sort of hate will stop is if more people like her stand up, sure Eden Park should have done more, and their response was quite sad - but shame on all those other people who were cowed by these oafs

    I guess we need a couple of All Blacks to get married in the Woman's Weekly ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2543 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    So in this case, as I believe Emma was pointing out, the fact no-one else complained WAS taken as assent.

    Being indifferent, distracted (by I-don't-know a rugby test), practising non-confrontational behaviour, embarrassment, fear of public speaking, possessing insufficient English, politely not wishing to disrupt anyone-else's rugby watching, not having a formed opinion, being hard of hearing or whatever - none of these things confer assent to me.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I guess we need a couple of All Blacks to get married in the Woman’s Weekly ….

    Eight years ago, Aaron Mauger gave a really good interview to Express, outlining exactly the inclusive perspective you’d want from a modern All Black, encouraging gay kids to play sport, namechecking Ian Roberts, etc.

    But the editor, Oliver Hall, decided to overcook it – billing it on the cover with Mauger’s photo as “The All Blacks’ first EVER gay interview”. It’s pretty rude to misrepresent someone’s sexuality like that. Mauger was married and some people did assume he was a closet case.

    Craig Innes weighed in this year, but I wonder if the general silence does stem in part from the way the Mauger interview was handled. Note that in the same story, Steve Gray claims to have bedded an All Black – but can’t remember his name!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Being indifferent, distracted (by I-don’t-know a rugby test), practising non-confrontational behaviour, embarrassment, fear of public speaking, possessing insufficient English, politely not wishing to disrupt anyone-else’s rugby watching, not having a formed opinion, being hard of hearing or whatever – none of these things confer assent to me.

    Me neither. But in the view of Eden Park's spokesperson, it did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    Substitute the word 'n****r' for the word 'faggot' (or whatever the slur was). I wonder how Eden Park would deal with it then?

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Eden Park views the crowd as being insufficiently offended.

    But unless everyone else around Ms Spyksma was offended by the men's slurs, they would likely not have been kicked out.

    The gulf between lack of offense and being in assent is vast & nuanced.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    Substitute the word ‘n****r’ for the word ‘faggot’ (or whatever the slur was). I wonder how Eden Park would deal with it then?

    There probably would have been a rerun of the 1979 Haka Party. This time round though, Eden Park and Talkbackistan would probably blame the victim.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I either missed it or it wasn't up earlier, but here's Hannah's open letter about the incident -- along with (mostly) supportive reader comments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • SteveL, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Still a decent proportion who apparently think the use of the word 'faggot' is in some way acceptable.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    along with (mostly) supportive reader comments.

    The two highest-rated (by far) comments on the front page are not supportive. Which I think is more indicative of positions on the matter.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The "don't be so precious" comments are filling me with rage. "Stop feeling your own feelings!" Pfffft.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Actually it doesn't matter what the majority of the crowd think. If 99% of the crowd think it's OK to shout abuse based on sexual orientation, that simply means 99% of the crowd is wrong.

    It's really simple, sometimes crowds are wrong.

    Eden park management should know that. They should have standards in place and when people breach those standards they should be ejected - regardless of what anyone in the crowd thinks.

    And that is precisely what Eden Park does over things like beach balls at the cricket.

    The assent (tacit or otherwise) of the crowd is utterly irrelevent.

    However, if Eden Park managment think abuse based on sexual orientation is just fine and dandy then they should say so ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4335 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    I was at a Black Caps game at Westpac Stadium a while back. They very clearly state that abusive or foul language is not acceptable - and have signs up around the grounds repeating this message. And encouraging us to contact security if we felt unsafe, threatened or offended.

    So when a guy near us started using sexist and homophobic slurs (at his own team, no less), we called him on it. Told him that if he continued to use that particular language, we would call security.

    His friends, bless them, were mortified by his behaviour. But did nothing. He was quiet for a few minutes, then started up again. Very pointedly in our direction.

    So we texted the security people, who came over, stood in the aisle for a minute and listened to the guy, then quietly escorted him out of the stadium.

    The last I saw of him, he was peeing outside a shop on Thorndon Quay.

    Eden Park management could really learn something from Westpac, in this situation. They had a clear policy, and it made the game more enjoyable and more family friendly. Which can only mean more bums on seats. (Which, in this time of declining ticket numbers, can only be a good thing.)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

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