Sunday, April 01, 2007

Open Letter to Stephen Jones, esq.

July 12, 2006


His Bobness at the Silver Fern has written an open letter to The Times' Stephen Jones.

"[W]hat is most offensive about Jones' NZ-bashing tirades is his racist questioning of the right of those All Blacks not of European descent to represent New Zealand. The fact that New Zealand has the biggest Polynesian population of any country in the world seems lost on Jones. Most of the Polynesian All Blacks were born in NZ and those who were not, like the young Toeava (the "annexed Samoan" as Jones obscenely describes him), came with their parents to NZ at a very early age. They were not, as Jones continues to impugn, dragooned by All Black press gangs scouring the Pacific for talent. Polynesians move to NZ for the same reasons that the Irish emigrated to New York - in search of economic opportunity. But it seems that for Jones, only white people can consciously make those choices.

This is deeply offensive, wilfully inaccurate and if he were to make such claims in this part of the world, he would be dragged before the Press Council."

Whole letter here.

Given the way Owen Hargreaves was poached into England's national soccer team despite never having lived nor played a game of soccer in his life in England;

Given that Hargreaves was FIFA's "Man of the Match" in England's World Cup flame-out against Portugal;

Given (as Bob says above) that Pacific-born All Blacks have been naturalized Kiwis since they were schoolboys (e.g. Joe Rokocoko, born in Fiji, moved to NZ as a 5-y-o; Mils Muliaina, born in Samoa, moved to NZ when he was a 3-y-o tot; etc.) or actually born and raised in New Zealand (Jonah Lomu, Tana Umaga, etc.);

Given that rugby union has recently faced the murder of a player on the field with rumoured racial provocation;

Given that The Times is a purportedly serious newspaper;

Given all of that and years of previous tortured abuse, I agree with Bob. Either Stephen Jones takes his professional obligations seriously or The Times gives up the ghost and finds a new reporter-columnist that does. Jones can't seem to write a column about the All Blacks without repeating tired hackneyed nonsensical and easily disproved bullshit that smears undeservedly and does a gross disservice to the game.

I have asked it before, and until Fleet Street rugby scribes answer responsibly I'll continue asking:

Why is that white Canadian boys who elect to represent England (ie. Owen Hargreaves, Greg Ruzedski) are presented as cosmopolitan individuals exercising their "free will," but brown-skinned Pacific Islanders who were born in New Zealand or moved to NZ as small children are said to have been "raped," "pillaged," "poached," "kidnapped," "annexed" and "stolen"?

Why the discrepancy?

Still waiting for answers . . .


At 1:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I didn't know that's how it worked! Did you know Ireland poached Ronan O'Gara from us here in the US?


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