Rugby NZ’s entirely predictably whitewash of the Chief’s rugby team’s abuse of a sex worker at a post season party means that the game’s culture of violence prevails. The rugby hierarchy have exonerated the players involved in the abuse, but bizarrely censured players who weren’t even there.
Rather than get an outside investigator, who might have come up with some inconvenient facts, the NZRFU used the services of one of their own staff. The un-named person, is, we are told, a proven lawyer. So that’s alright then. No doubt they came up with the right result for their grateful employers.
Victim’s advocate Louise Nicholas is scathing about the lack of an independent investigation by the NZRFU. But no doubt she knows all too well that the men who run NZ are used to avoiding awkward questions.
NZRFU chief Steve Tew made a total fool of himself on Radio NZ’s Morning Report, arguing that the only problem was hiring the woman. Funnily enough, that’s perfectly legal, and I’ve heard that the NZRFU held an All Blacks piss up at a strip club as recently as last year. Assaulting the woman is not legal, but that’s no bother to Tew.
Here’s what we should be told:
- Why weren’t the players involved re-interviewed after the victim’s evidence was heard?
- Why hasn’t the hotel video of the incident been released?
- Why wasn’t cellphone footage released?
- Were the so called ‘independent witnesses’ paid by the Chiefs before, during or after the piss up?
- Who were the players involved and how many of them would be in the All Blacks squad?
- Who’s idea was it to get a sex worker?
- Why wasn’t the investigation independent?
- Why haven’t the Chiefs apologised to the woman?
In the meantime, until we get some real answers, I think the government should immediately break off all contact with NZ rugby and suspend all funding to the game and divert the money to Women’s Refuge instead. John Key should apologise for publicly associating with sex offenders and reiterate that his commitment to the White Ribbon campaign is more important to him that drinking beer with boofheads.
In addition, Steve Tew, Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman and every professional rugby player in NZ should attend anti-violence classes until they understand what they’ve done wrong.
And, no, the the thing they got wrong wasn’t hiring the woman. It was abusing her, then shaming her that’s the problem.
It’s beating the crap out their partners that’s the problem.
It’s living and working in a culture of violence that’s the problem.
Just as an aside, how hypocritical are My Food Bag? The company has dropped its partnership with the Chiefs. Not because of the abuse of the woman, but because the Chiefs hired her in the first place. My Food Bag have a moral objection to the legal hiring of sex workers.
Ironically, the meals at home company source some of their product from the Talley’s group, who regularly break NZ employment law and maim and kill their workers. But that’s not an ethical issue for My Food Bag, apparently.