“Is NZ a nation of poor sports?”

No. Don’t diss all Kiwis because of a few lager lubricated loudmouths!

There have been a few news reports on TV and in newspapers about unsporting incidents during the Rugby World Cup. INCIDENTS. Blown up by media. Like the run of “poor Quade is being picked on” stories.

Not widespread behaviour.

The Otago Daily Times adds to the generalisations:

Racist taunts, abuse, spitting: is NZ a nation of poor sports?

Anxiety over the performance of the All Blacks is behind some New Zealanders’ poor treatment of opposition fans, a University of Otago academic says.

Dr Mark Falcous, of the Dunedin-based School of Physical Education, was responding to comments posted on www.odt.co.nz concerning the behaviour of New Zealanders towards English rugby supporters.

Those comments came after a reader-generated story entitled “New Zealanders hatred of the English”, and earlier this week the New Zealand Herald reported Australian fans had been spat at and were subject to vitriolic abuse by their New Zealand counterparts.

Is the ODT a paper of poor news reports? Or is it just a minority?
Maybe there are few affected by “anxiety” but they seem to find something to be anxious about every game. There are loudmouths at just about any game of rugby, abusing the referee and abusing the visiting team of the day whether it be Canterbury, Auckland, Australia or England.

The article lists a few unsporting incidents but if you look hard enough you will see the key statement:

The majority of fans were well-behaved and supportive, but the vocal minority –
including four middle-aged men at Sunday’s game – spent their
time abusing players…

I sat beside an English couple at the Argentina-England game and had friendly conversations throughout the game. There was one loudmouth along the row a bit, otherwise the English, Kiwi and Argentinian supporters in the vicinity were very good sports.

I don’t think poor behaviour is due to All Black anxiety, especially at games not involving the local team. There’s a few boofheads in any crowd.

One person in a hundred can give us all a bad name the way things get over reported. Maybe it’s up to the good sports amongst us to speak up and tell the abusers they don’t just reflect badly on themselves.

Which seems to be happening…

Are we abusing Australian Rugby World Cup fans?

Australian and New Zealand readers, both here and abroad have responded strongly to a report in yesterday’s Herald and nzherald.co.nz about the verbal abuse an Australian couple received from Kiwi rugby fans at last Saturday’s Ireland versus Australia match.

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  1. News & views – Thursday 22 September 2011 | Your Dunedin

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