Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not good enough, Eden Park

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  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I don’t think hate speech should be banned, one groups hate speech is unfortunately another communities commonly expressed opinions.

    I agree, but context matters, and speech should be modified according to context. That is one part personal responsibility - if you're in a large, diverse crowd like I assume one would find at a test match at Eden Park, it's probably a good idea to keep the hate speech quiet. If you're in the privacy of your own home or at a Destiny Church or National Front meeting, go ahead. It is also one part management of Eden Park setting and enforcing minimum standards of behaviour, and that standard should include making Eden Park a welcoming venue for all people - see, for example, what Craig has been saying about European Football and racism.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Not that this is exactly on point but I really don't think we should give Eden Park security staff much credit for acting like decent human beings - this from an email I sent to a radio sport journo back in March (yes I'm still pissed off!!!):

    During the final session of the cricket on Saturday I was out walking my 5 month old daughter with her pushchair. As I live in Kingsland, and still had my pass out from when I'd left during the second session, I thought I'd pop in and watch the beginning of England's innings.

    At the gate I was told that no pushchairs were allowed. I said that I was just going to be watching from the closest vantage point in the concourse for 20 minutes and would be visible to the gate at all times. I was refused entry again. The explanation given was that it would cause a hazard and Eden Park had a "policy" against pushchairs.

    I said I understood completely the logic for a packed house, but, given the tiny crowd, I asked that an exception be made. There were, literally, a dozen people in view on that enormous area overlooking Eden Park #2. Still the answer was no. I could leave the pushchair by the guard's superior's office and carry my daughter. I said I didn't have a sunhat for her and thought it would just be much easier for everyone if I used the pushchair. A couple of young English supporters helped me to argue my case against the security guard. He (and I) started to lose patience. Thoughts of some poor bullied kid at school now asserting his position of authority crossed my mind. I asked to speak to his boss. He pointed to the office where his boss was sitting shaking his head.

    Madness. I felt like I was is a scene from Faulty Towers. I was so pissed off by this stage that I turned and walked away. I will admit I gave these muppets a verbal spray.

    Since Jan 2007 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This might be a good time to dig up my DVD of Jafar Panahi's Offside. Seems relevant here...

    But, hey, at least in Iran women are protected from the gross, icky conduct of men at sporting events (damn animal penis brains strike again!) Amirite or amirite?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I don’t think hate speech should be banned, one groups hate speech is unfortunately another communities commonly expressed opinions.

    What about where said speech is directed at a person?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Dear internet,

    Hannah had an unpleasant night at the rugby. Some guys behind her were yelling homophobic abuse at the players and Wayne Barnes. She objected to these comments and told them so. The guys started directing the comments at her / flicking her.

    Eden Park said that though they do not condone the comments, but they would not intervene into the situation unless there was a larger disturbance beyond people merely hurling insults during a rugby match.

    I believe Eden Park has a pragmatic policy here.

    For those of you who have never attended rugby game at night the seating is quite dark. Security is quite unable to identify who shouts a comment. Therefore ignoring shouted comments is good policy. Only when escalates beyond insults directed at the game, do they have to act to clear the disturbance.

    This incident did not escalate. The guys shouted comments, Hannah told them to STFU, they started directing much quieter comments and discreet pokes at Hannah. From an outside observer this is a reduction in disturbance.

    The disturbance did not grow, rest of the crowd did not become involved, Eden Park security did not act. This does not imply assent of the rest of the crowd or on Eden Park to the homophobic insults. (In a public venue when somebody says something you don't agree with and you are not involved in the conversation - you are not giving assent by saying nothing.)

    But this being the modern world, we read about in the next week - a much fuller more detailed personal account of what has occurred. And an opinion is formed that the crowd / Eden Park should have done something. Well what?

    And by doing something I don't mean reconfiguring their PR so that they trot out a "we have a zero tolerance policy" - when obviously they don't. This is the PC response and unacceptable to most people.

    There is a sold out stadium of 50,000 people. 10 of them are yelling homophobic insults. Your staff can identify each set of insults as coming from a section of 400 or so tightly packed people. Each of those 390+ people who didn't yell an insult will object to you interrupting their view of the rugby. If you misidentify the perpetrator that person will then be pilloried on Public Address (and assorted other sites) before you get a chance to offer a grovelling apology and resign your job. What are you going to do?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    What are you going to do?

    Precisely what they do for other kinds of misbehaviour. Use technology like CCTV and have security staff patrolling and removing people whose behaviour crosses the line.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Use technology like CCTV

    Do we really need more CCTV?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Eden Park said that though they do not condone the comments, but they would not intervene into the situation unless there was a larger disturbance beyond people merely hurling insults during a rugby match.

    I believe Eden Park has a pragmatic policy here.

    No. That’s not what they said. They said it wasn’t their place to be “the PC police” or to “move the cultural morals of society”. They took the failure to intervene of those nearby as assent. They gave the impression it wasn't that big a deal.

    And let’s be clear: as has been noted multiple times in this thread, this is a management that has been happy this year to crack down on such threats to public safety as beach balls, pushchairs and Mexican waves. Perhaps it wasn't possible to do anything about it at the time. But they – and you – cannot honestly claim that this actual harassment fell below their general threshold.

    What happened was unpleasant. Eden Park’s official response was insulting and unacceptable. It’s not actually that complicated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    the PC response

    yawn

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    What happened was unpleasant. Eden Park’s official response was insulting and unacceptable. It’s not actually that complicated.

    Oh come on. Let’s not re-write the thread and declare victory. The complication is actually the hypocrisy where we’ve got a lot of people explicitly demanding the fun police biff out ANYONE that crosses a very subjective and low set line, yet they are often exactly the same people who on this very blog excoriated Eden Park’s security for chucking people out who made paper aeroplanes and/or for starting Mexican waves.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    It absolutely fucking blows my mind that anyone in this thread is going for the "we have to let gay people be harassed or Big Brother wins!" angle. Really? REALLY?

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Your ability to manufacture equivalences is outstanding. Hats off.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Let’s not re-write the thread and declare victory. The complication is actually the hypocrisy where we’ve got a lot of people explicitly demanding the fun police biff out ANYONE that crosses a very subjective and low set line,

    From Eden Park’s Conditions of entry

    Patrons will be requested to leave the Stadium during an event if they:

    Are intoxicated, or appear to be becoming intoxicated
    Are verbally or physically abusive…
    Behave in a disorderly or offensive manner, or a manner contrary to public order

    I’d suggest that those terms were broken. Definitely the second one.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Russell wrote that, not me, but yes, I agree with him. And here's where I can't understand your logic: I fail to see how beach balls or paper planes or pushchairs represent a threat to anyone's safety. Mexican waves, possibly - I took part in every Mexican wave when I went to watch a game at Carisbrook because I knew what would be coming down after it passed and wanted to protect my head. Verbal and physical harassment of another spectator whether it's homophobic, racist, sexist, or just plain random is a safety issue. If they can deem beach balls, paper planes, waves and pushchairs unacceptable, how can they allow people to be harassed? I may be setting an arbitrary standard here - but then again, both Jesus and Confucius taught "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", so I'm not alone here - but it's not a very subjective or unnecessarily low standard. I'm with Danielle, I just can't understand why anybody thinks people should have to tolerate verbal or physical abuse because Big Brother.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Do we really need more CCTV?

    I don't know about more, but it's a tool and it has its uses.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Oh come on. Let’s not re-write the thread and declare victory. The complication is actually the hypocrisy where we’ve got a lot of people explicitly demanding the fun police biff out ANYONE that crosses a very subjective and low set line,

    "Fun police"? What the actual fuck? Are you really going to use the phrase "fun police" about this incident?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Your ability to manufacture equivalences is outstanding. Hats off.

    Who says our manufacturing sector is dead?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    it's a tool and it has its uses

    they all do

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Creativity is our future, I tells you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    I’d suggest that those terms were broken. Definitely the second one.

    It very clearly was.

    Whereas you’ve got to squint pretty hard to decide possession of a beach ball is “contrary to public order”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sacha,

    it’s a tool and it has its uses

    they all do

    I dunno, I've come across some pretty bloody useless tools in my time. But yeah, I guess I should've said "legitimate uses". I'm not overly comfortable with the cameras in my classrooms, but I quite like the network of cameras monitoring conditions on Beijing's roads - especially because the Traffic Management Bureau turns that monitoring into actually useful information it puts on its own website, Weibo, and a network of electronic signs around the road network. I see no reason why Eden Park and other similar venues shouldn't be using CCTV to monitor crowd behaviour and direct security to areas where problems may be occurring.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    At a Georgefm party, perhaps

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I've come across some pretty bloody useless tools in my time

    Same. We are using the word the same way, right? :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I dunno, I’ve come across some pretty bloody useless tools in my time.

    You're not looking at them through the right PRISM

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

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