Sex scandals, sarcasm and simians? Wake me up when there is a real controversy

This week let’s first go to the unnecessarily apologetic rugby league desk, which has been rocked with another shocking sex scandal that was neither shocking nor was it a scandal, and should have never been news in the first place. A Snapchat video featuring Warriors hard man Konrad Hurrell was leaked showing him driving while receiving a BJ from D-list celebrity Teuila Blakely. Oh my, two consenting adults engaging in oral sex! Won’t somebody please think of the children?

As a Warriors fan, sports journalist and fellow blowjob enthusiast, am I missing something? The only legitimate point of public concern I can see here that is worthy of criticism is maybe the issue of road safety. Most people old enough to understand what happened shouldn’t be and most likely were not offended, and the young, impressionable fans that the NRL is worried about protecting probably don’t understand anyway, so the fake outrage draws more attention to the non-issue than if they just ignored it.

Fans of rugby league are aware that most of the players are criminals and thugs, anyway; they are poor role models and shouldn’t be put up on some moral pedestal. It was stupid and a dick move on his part to share the video and I do feel sorry for Blakely as her son is the same age as Hurrell, which would have made for an awkward conversation around the dinner table. However, I am sure his mates will be a lot keener to come around to visit from now on.

A spokeswoman from Shortland Street’s production company took the right stance, saying the company wouldn’t comment further on Blakely’s involvement in the sex video as “it was a personal matter, not a work-related matter.” She spoke to radio station Mai FM about the “scandal,” and was quoted as saying it was “incredibly hard and incredibly challenging.”

Not long after the video came to the attention of the NRL, their scandal clean-up team, the “Integrity Unit,” jumped into action with boss Jim Doyle saying the incident “was a concern for the game.” Come on, really?? THIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FUCKING GAME!! I think that crusty, old Mr Doyle is just a wee bit jealous that he isn’t the one getting noshed by a cougar while cruising down the highway in his Commodore.

Newly signed Warriors coach Andy McFadden felt the need to defend his player but then threw him under the bus by saying, “They have physically mature bodies but maybe not in the mind.” Which translates to: “he is an overpaid rugby player who is young, dumb and full of cum; what the fuck did you expect?”

Hurrell was then forced into a vague and insincere apology video, saying, “I want to apologise to the club, the fans, all my friends and family for what I have done” and “I was being stupid and I just want to move on and play footy.”

That same apology could have applied to him fumbling the ball, missing a training session or something more serious like clubbing a seal or pushing his mother down the stairs. I would have had a bit more respect for his apology if he had said something specific. Something like: “Now, kids, remember you should always keep both hands on the steering wheel when driving and not one hand holding your phone recording and the other hand on top of your fuck buddy’s head.”

Sorry, Konrad, I am totally on your side here but you are not sorry for what you have done. You are sorry because you were stupid enough to share the video. The one time I got road-head, 10 minutes north of Kaikoura, I certainly didn’t regret it either ...

According to the Warriors’ spin doctors, Hurrell has been “ordered to undergo counselling on the use of social media” and they issued him a fine of $5,000, which will surely make this the most expensive BJ he has ever received. I just really hope she was able to finish, otherwise this becomes an even sadder story. My final thought on this is that I am now wondering if it will force Hurrell into changing his try-scoring celebration, which is “blowing” a kiss to his mother ...

To a more local “controversy” in Wellington. After a recent football match a player from Kapiti Coast United has been suspended for eight games for racist abuse after complaining about an opposition player’s excessive shirt pulling. He was heard saying, “Ref, he’s climbing all over me like a monkey!” referring to the offending player, who just happened to be Fijian-Indian as well as someone perverting the rules of the game.

The player being fouled insists he was just trying to emphasise that the other guy was grabbing his shirt and arms like a monkey would grab at the branches of a tree, and that he didn’t have any racist intent. Monkeys are very intelligent mammals that are very proficient tree climbers; consequently this comment could either be read as a racist slur or an endorsement of the opposing player’s athletic abilities. You decide.

What if he had said: “Ref, he’s climbing all over me like a donkey!” In this case it goes to show how substituting one letter in an otherwise identical sentence can add or remove any and all racist connotations. English is certainly a powerful language in that respect.

Allow me to play devil’s advocate here and ask the question: Who is really racist here? I would argue that it’s the referees and the administrators of Capital Football who dished out the ban. They seem to be perpetuating the racial stereotype rather than diminishing it by forcing their own racist reading of the situation onto the accused player.

Apparently in the same game, one of the Kapiti players complained about being called a “Scottish git,” which is a clear-cut case of insulting someone based on their ethnicity, but this went unpunished, as it is apparently not racism.

When sporting institutions and their administrators overreact to these “issues” in the ways they have, it just makes them look petty and insecure. I think that their over-the-top responses to minor things do more damage to their brands than the initial incidents did and that the out of control “everything must be politically correct” attitude in sports governing bodies is at odds with the attitudes of the people who turn up and support the teams, who couldn’t care less if somebody makes some sarcastic comments or got a cheeky BJ between the traffic lights.
This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2014.
Posted 4:32pm Sunday 18th May 2014 by Daniel Lormans.