Alan Whetton doesn’t seem to have noticed that rugby has moved on substantially and so has society. His comments in the Sunday News were disgraceful.
If referees and the authorities are going to ignore Cooper’s cheap shots, Whetton reckons it might be time for some old-fashioned justice.
“They are two interesting characters,” Whetton says of the McCaw and Cooper “One experienced, calm and collected, the other who shows his emotion on his sleeve and is prepared to have a crack, put a little bit of niggle in. Good on him if he gets away with it.
“But I expect the All Blacks to stand up to that. If it gets a bit too much someone should say, ‘hey’, and give a little pop to him (Cooper). Are we allowed to do that these days? Give a little pop to the fellow to make him realise he’s playing the All Blacks.”
No, they are not allowed to be on-field thugs these days. It could easily lead to being banned from taking any more part in the World Cup. It could lead to their team losing the World Cup.
But that’s only one reason why this is a boneheadd last century remark.
The comment reflects very poorly on New Zealand sportsmanship.
And it reinforces one of the biggest problems New Zealand society has – the badly mistaken belief that violence is a response of choice.
The McCaw response – to act like a modern All Black and captain, is the right response.
The Whetton suggestion should be seen as a sad and disgraceful example to New Zealand males. We must move on from macho madness and maiming.
And journalist Duncan Johnstone should also be ashamed for publicising this.