Stuff goes a huntin' Rugby

  • Trollin trollin trollin.
    Keep those clicks a rollin
    Right across the country

    A number (at least the first two links) of attack articles on Rugby.

    Basically we're all misogynist artogant arseholes.

    Can't see any reason for the attacks short of clickbait.

    I've copied and pasted the first one yo save clicks.

    '''Stuff requested an interview with New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew this week as part of a larger look at the challenges facing the game in this country.

    The request was declined via NZR's communications department, with an explanation that they did not feel the timing was right for him to conduct such an interview.

    NZR offered to provide us with generic answers to emailed questions. We declined this opportunity.

    We felt it was important to talk to Tew face to face and to seek less sanitised and prepared responses to key questions on the successes, failures and challenges facing him and his organisation in the modern environment.

    OPINION: On the field the All Blacks are unstoppable, World Cup holders and on a record winning streak, so by that measure New Zealand Rugby is a world-beating organisation crammed with rugby genius.

    But off the field, it's been copping a series of head-high tackles, around the discipline of its players, its attitude to women, around its superior air.

    In the past two months, the NZR has been mauled more than at any time, outside the anti-apartheid protests of 1981, when rugby and a government headed by Sir Rob Muldoon bulldozed ahead with the unpopular Springbok tour.

    Once the NZR would have simply soared above public opinion, doing what it considered best for the game, best for its sponsors, best for its players, keeping the turnstiles clicking, raking in revenue.

    But chief executive Steve Tew has done very little soaring since he tried to kick the Chiefs inquiry into touch last month, missed, and had the ball run back at him in a spectacular counter attack.

    He's been scrambling on defence ever since, trying to dampen down issue after issue – the Chiefs, the Losi Filipo violence case and Aaron Smith's toilet tryst, one after the other.

    Ignoring professional media advice given to the Chiefs, Tew made public the Chiefs inquiry findings, without saying who conducted it - other than a senior NZR employee.

    Nor did he name who it interviewed, or which Chiefs players were involved. It was handled as an employment issue, away from the public glare.

    There was no apology to the stripper Scarlette, who said she had been mistreated by a group of Chiefs players. Scarlette had already had her integrity questioned by Chiefs boss Andrew Flexman.

    Nothing to see here, other than the "disappointing" behaviour of hiring a stripper in the first place, Tew told the waiting nation, in a live streamed press conference.

    A crooked scrum feed was swiftly spotted, with widespread booing from the stands of public opinion, rumblings of dissent across the news media, social media, sports clubs, bars, and in queues at cafes.

    Even the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association was surprised by the departure from a script it had expected to hear read out.

    Within two days Tew had admitted flaws in the inquiry. It may as well have been an admission he had misread the mood.

    "[With] the benefit of hindsight it might have been easier for people to believe us if we had brought someone from the outside to sit alongside us," he told RNZ.

    Rugby would work with women's campaigner Louise Nicholas as the organisation clearly needed to do better in terms of attitudes to women, he said.

    All Blacks don't back down. Nor is the NZR noted for it. If anything it is aggressive in support of its message, its brand, its players, its heroes … its just about anything.

    Positive stories, negative stories; journalists have come to expect a phone call from an agitated NZR spin doctor if the information wasn't released by them, or doesn't parrot the NZR view.

    Tew declined to be interviewed for this series, examining rugby's culture.

    He "will have more to say on the whole culture issue very shortly so feels that is the time to reflect on the state of the nation", his spokesman said.

    A subsequent NZR offer to answer emailed questions was turned down by Stuff, so the public will have to wait to learn why Tew acted the way he did around the issues he has fronted.

    How could he have thought he'd chosen the right tactics to properly deal with the Chiefs problem?

    A senior PR operator who declined to be named – many people in New Zealand owe at least part of their living to the NZR – said its ethos is part of the reason it is "thinking wrong".

    "Part of the culture is 'we are the best, and we know everything'," they said. "Their media advisers are not listened to."

    Journalists who upset the NZR are ostracised. On-message reporters are regarded as "inside the tent", others as "outside the tent". Fairfax Media opinion writer Mark Reason is not even in the same camping ground, as far as Tew is concerned.

    Control the media, control the message. Media accreditation and live streaming of major events is NZR controlled, stage managed. It's a source of friction, yet top companies operate that way. So do politicians.

    But, as a Nobel literature prize winner Bob Dylan might say, the times they are a changin'. Social media is anarchy. So, when the Chiefs press conference was live streamed, NZR lost control of the message, which shifted from its preferred "nothing to see here", to the disbelieving public's "it's a whitewash", and "what about the victim?"

    As much as the NZR might wish it, the internet can't be silenced. NZR did not swiftly enough see the social media train coming, misjudging its ability to give like-minded people a voice, even if that trend has been apparent for some time.

    Nor did it detect the shift in the way mainstream society wants women and minority groups to be treated. With respect. As equals. Valued. Listened to.

    If even one NZR board member had been a woman, that might have been averted, through having a different perspective to raise the alert.

    And yet, strutting arrogance is much less appealing than McCaw-style self-effacing modesty. And that trait was on public display at the start of the Chiefs affair, then the initial handling of the Losi Filipo violence case, in which four people – two of them women – were thumped by a rugby player in a Wellington street.

    NZR stepped over the line of public acceptability, into a barrage of criticism, and not just from those who usually didn't care for rugby – many of the head shakers and jersey burners were rugby fans, who'd had enough.

    When a sport starts to lose the public it claims to live and die for – "we joke as soon as a person is born in New Zealand they're an All Blacks fan", marketing boss Todd Barberel says – then there is a problem.

    Other sports have it far worse. Australian rugby league has its dog-bothering, peptide popping, booze-swilling players; world football is riddled with corruption at the highest levels; American football has proven itself a supplier of gun-toting murderers and rapists.

    But since when did the NZR even compare itself with the worst?'''

  • I saw that too, on what could be the biggest day for the abs since the rwc final . Who needs the manatee etc when we've got our own trolls?

  • pretty sure he has written other negative articles about rugby, doesnt sound like he is a fan??

  • Where to start with that. Fuck me days. (My OCD found it very hard to get past the constant use of NZR. If you can't even get the acronym right to the most well known organisation in New Zealand...)

  • I read the first paragraph and that was one too many.

    I find it best just completely ignoring these 'rugby is the devil himself' articles. They'll go away eventually.

  • @Mokey said in Stuff goes a huntin' Rugby:

    Where to start with that. Fuck me days. (My OCD found it very hard to get past the constant use of NZR. If you can't even get the acronym right to the most well known organisation in New Zealand...)

    They are called NZR (New Zealand Rugby) now - even though the website still have the 'u' in it.

    So we can give them a pass for that part of the ultra shitty article.

  • There's 5 or 6 articles in the same vein (vane? no think it's "vein") today.

    I glanced ar the second one which regurgitated the same shit, gave a lot of weight to Moffat who obviously has a hate for Tew, and made some pretty innocuous quotes by various connected people seem like condemnations.

    I ignored the others.

    @Mokey it is actually now NZR. Pared down from "the" NZRU (itself I'm pretty sure shortened from NZRFU). What appeared to me was he had probably referred to "the NZRU" in his original draft and someone had done a global find and replace so he was left with the awkward "the NZR".

    Maybe Stuff should do a character assassination series of articles on something that needs it like the state of journalism?

  • TL;DR

  • @booboo Ah. I didn't know about the change. But I think you are right, because 'the NZR' makes no bloody sense.

  • @Mokey said in Stuff goes a huntin' Rugby:

    @booboo Ah. I didn't know about the change. But I think you are right, because 'the NZR' makes no bloody sense.

    Here I was thinking finally the heat's off rugby and New Zealand Rail are busy copping it!

  • @antipodean Haha. Yep, if another crisis comes up, Rugby are going to be all like FUCKING RAILWAY BASTARDS.

  • @booboo My local paper has a full 2 page spread with the Tom Fitzsimons article amongst others.

    I do laugh when they use Moffett as a rent-a-quote about business leadership, given his track record with NZR, the NRL and Welsh rugby.

  • Ah yeah Moffet is painful.

    An obnoxious prick imho.

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