Pack Mentality

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 4th, 2016 - 55 comments
Categories: boycott, discrimination, domestic violence, Ethics, health and safety, Social issues, sport, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The Waikato Chiefs rugby team have admitted homophobic abuse at a post season piss up in a hot springs hotel. Now it has been revealed that the players sexually abused a woman at the same event.

So how are the Chiefs management going to deal with the assault? They’ve decided the best response is to publicly attack the victim’s credibility.

“You have got to remember this is one person’s accusation and her standing in the community and culpability is not beyond reproach,” says Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman.

So that’s all right then.

The woman concerned is a sex worker. She was hired to act as a waitress and then perform a strip tease.

Hiring her isn’t an issue.

Abusing her is the issue.

But not according to the leadership of the Waikato Chiefs.

Their dim witted , moralistic CEO thinks the only problem is that being sprung using sex workers isn’t a good look.

Which is why he has chosen to add some abuse of his own.

So here’s the simple solution for the Hamilton based franchise; fire Andrew Flexman. Send a straightforward message that abuse of women, either physically or verbally, is unacceptable.

If that doesn’t happen, here’s another simple solution. The organisers of the Super Rugby competition should remove the Waikato Chiefs from next season’s competition.

Wouldn’t that send a powerful, positive message?

 

UPDATE: CEO Andrew Flexman has apologised on Radio Sport’s Martin Devlin show. Well, sort of.

“I’m not in a position to make that assertion because I don’t know the woman from a bar of soap,”

“Anybody that knows me well, Martin (Devlin), knows that that’s not the person I am, that’s not consistent with the value set that I have. In no way, shape or form would I ever make that assertion about a woman based on a vocation that she chooses and has the choice to be involved in.”

“The way it reads certainly gives the impression that I am questioning the integrity of her vocation and her choice around that and fundamentally I shouldn’t be in a position to do that.”

“And I guess, having re-read it, as it appears in the article, notwithstanding the context, I regret the way it’s been phrased if I’m honest.”

Full audio here:

http://www.radiosport.co.nz/sport-news/rugby/chiefs-boss-regrets-derogatory-stripper-comments/

 

55 comments on “Pack Mentality”

  1. I agree with that.

  2. save nz 2

    +100 TRP.

  3. mac1 3

    At a men’s breakfast yesterday to raise support for action against the violence shown to children, partners, women in general and our elders, the man next to me suggested we use sporting icons as champions to stand up for a violence free New Zealand.

    I agreed and suggested using sporting coaches to help reinforce the message.

    Then we get the Chiefs’s behaviour. They do not deserve the name.

    What a battle we have in New Zealand when drunken men, exacerbated by destructive group mentality, acting in homophobic and inappropriate ways, with violence and loss of control, do not act according to their status as role models and leading sportsmen.

    They are not rangatira. They do not act as men.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      …the man next to me suggested we use sporting icons as champions to stand up for a violence free New Zealand.

      The problem with that is that our ‘sporting icons’ tend to be some of the worst abusers.

      • mac1 3.1.1

        I fear you are right. And that is why our boys are not going to learn proper behaviour when men haven’t. The problem is widespread.

        The title of this post refers to group mores dominating. That is what has to change. Our nation’s mores. We have changed out culture around drink driving, around smoking, around looking after our mates.

        We have to change our thinking around behaviour towards women. Time to learn to tell our fellows “Don’t be a dick.”

        Time for champions. Time for real chiefs.

    • Philj 3.2

      Perception is reality. If they sound like… and they behave like.. They are not heroes or models of moral rectitude. They are ordinary blokes who are good at ‘sporting thuggery’ – Professional Rugby. The accepted idea in NZ that our sporting elite are all wonderful human beings is an unfounded assumption whose validity is exposed in this sorry incident. Boorish Rugby ‘culture’is well established and hidden.

  4. mauī 4

    Instead of the Chiefs assisting the police on anti-bullying programs like they have done in the past
    (http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/27235?nondesktop). Maybe the police should be focussing their programs on the Chiefs themselves.

    You really have to wonder about the Chiefs culpability and standing in the community now, eh Flexman???

    Also Boots Theory blog on the Feeds panel on the right hand side is well worth a read too.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    “Whaaadarrrrryaaa!!!” (it is not a question) obviously still the clarion call of thugby supporting oafs across the land

    “eat more–root more–drink more piss!” (first attributed to Ross Meurants ’81 Red Squad as a training chant) but is obviously treated even in the professional era like an instruction on a stone tablet, handed down by mysterious forces (those guys with cauliflower ears and noses like cricket balls) at Rugby HQ

    FFS–these ‘role models’ hire an entertainer, mistreat her and it is her fault?

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      Apparently they abused her then short changed her what they owed her. What a classless bunch of drunken yobbos.

  6. Ffloyd 6

    Deeply disappointed in the Chiefs and their Neanderthal approach in their treatment of this woman who was hired to do a job which obviously did not include agreeing to sexual harassment and derogatory behaviour to her. As for Andrew Flexman you should be ashamed of yourself for your appalling crude comments on the woman’s standing in our community based on her employment. Good on her for bringing this out in the open. I have been a long time supporter of the Chiefs. Not any longer. On top of homophobic comments, supposedly being funny,at this same juvenile gathering, this article brings the Chief’s no credit at all.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    As someone who can recall the Victoria University student union resembling a casualty clearing station on match days during the Springbok tour I was bemused to see students on TV hooting like 12 year olds when they managed to get tickets to the Super Rugby final. It is part of the general obsession with professional sport that taken over the world in the past three or four decades, something which seems to have replaced community as a source of a sense of belonging.

    Rugby in NZ exercises far to big an influence on our general culture. It is unhealthy for our society to associate so much of our identity with a sport. It fosters anti intellectualism, encourages sexism, normalises violence and makes the idiotic behaviour of young, dumb and full of cum men who do stupid shit like what has been reported today role models and worthy of coverage.

    In eight months in Europe I have never heard an angry raised voice in a bar or club. I have never NEVER! seen an adult strike a child. I have only heard an adult be angry with a child about twice. I never seen road rage. I have never seen an argument amongst adults that looked like it might get out of hand. Sure, they have more cops here, over 200,000 local, national and civil guards. But we need to have a serious discussion in NZ about the normalising role rugby plays in the shockingly high levels of violence in our society. It is simply extraordinary how violent NZ society is and yet we acccept it as normal. Rugby has a baleful place in the pantheon of reasons for this, and it is well past time we address its role in our violent society.

    • Gangnam Style 7.1

      & then we wonder why we have a huge bullying problem when our national sport is just 2 teams of big men pushing each other.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.2

      agree; it is a serious problem still, rugby culture does not just pander to the ‘dark kiwi streak’–it has always fed it and maintained it via anti intellectualism, compliance and the raised male fist

      it was no jolly PR happenstance that our glorious leader appeared as pseudo AB captain on the cover of Rugby News last election

    • Garibaldi 7.3

      “Well past time we address its role in our violent society”. This goes way way back – way before the 81 tour. The tour exposed a great divide in our society which is still there and has, imo ,been enhanced by professionalism. The rugby boofheads here in the Waikato still reign.
      Professional sport has elevated sport way above its rightful role in our society.

    • Barry 7.4

      This isn’t an exclusively New Zealand problem & it isn’t exclusively a rugby problem, any more than violence in europe is a football problem. In the last 8 months in New Zealand I have never NEVER! seen an adult strike a child. I never seen road rage. I have never seen an argument amongst adults that looked like it might get out of hand…..but it doesn’t mean it’s not happening, anymore than you not seeing it in Europe means it’s not happening.
      These are worldwide problems, with a myriad of causes – there are many who would argue the European dominated church hierarchies are just as prominent in the normalisation of ‘shockingly high levels of violence’ towards out children. Meanwhile making claims that rugby ‘normalises violence and makes the idiotic behaviour of young, dumb and full of cum men’ does a tremendous disservice to the vast majority of participants for whom team sports are an incredibly positive – and in many cases life changing – outlet. It also makes you guilty of dishing out ignorant unfounded abuse – in much the same way as the Chiefs players.

      • mauī 7.4.1

        It’s not unfounded Barry, have a look at Adam’s link below which states a large percentage of US college sportsmen are involved in all sexual assaults. I also think you have to be completely in denial if when the words All Blacks, Super rugby, NRL and sexual assault don’t join a few dots. It’s a cultural thing.

      • Sanctuary 7.4.2

        In my experience, NZ’s level of normalised violence is exceptional.

        • miravox 7.4.2.1

          +1 a bit of an eye-opener to observe different unspoken social rules about alcohol and violence.

        • miravox 7.4.2.2

          +1 a bit of an eye-opener to observe different unspoken social rules about alcohol and violence.

    • Open mike 7.5

      Obviously haven’t been to a football game – the beautiful game- in Europe! No excuse for Neanderthals here though!

  8. Dot 8

    Yes the Rugby Union needs to step in , for the good of Rugby.
    Drunken male pack behaviour is not acceptable any more, where were their families ?

  9. adam 9

    As far as sports people and sexual assault go, we really need to address this across the board.

    I like this from Nikki Glaser, she uses comedy to help highlight the issue. Also before you watch I’ll add her note. Nikki interviews a rape victim about the ways that the system failed her after her assault.

  10. James 10

    Just before everyone jumps on their high horse.

    At the moment it is just an allegation – not a statement of fact . Unlike this post that says “Now it has been revealed that the players sexually abused a woman at the same event.” despite the hyperlink saying “amid allegations players inappropriately touched a stripper”

    There have been other high profile claims that people have jumped on that the people have been found innocent of – Information is needed before you state they actually sexually abused the lady.

    An allegation does not make it fact. (Obv – it does not mean that it isnt a fact either – it may well be – and that would not shock me – and if it is proven, then they should be punished accordingly)

    As for the CEO however – I agree his comments were disgusting and inappropriate.

    • James 10.1

      And for the record – I disagree with the Sponsor who said that strippers should expect to be touched – I dont agree with that either.

      • Gangnam Style 10.1.1

        Good on you James, yeah that was a shocking admission, shows what these people think of the ‘lower classes’ don’t ya think?

      • framu 10.1.2

        yeah – that was pretty bad

        on checkpoint she repeatedly tried to make it the womans fault – not once, not twice, but multiple times.

        Regardless of the fact its just allegation at this stage it was an appalling display. What ever happened to asking for the truth to be discovered then refusing to comment further?

        then it was revealed shes on the board of waikato womans refugee

  11. Jenz 11

    Bunch of rugby heads on the booze behaving like eggs. Nothing new in NZ. Gross huh? Strippers are not usually touched when performing, but if she had a ‘minder’ with her what could they really do against a pissed leering rugby mob..

    Drunk fools even felt like that needed to exercise their dominance over the stripper, sheez just enjoy the show you fools. If you like a bit of Dom/sub titillation, learn about it, it’s an amazing intimate experience. Don’t get drunk and be an egg, learn some self control, something that any Dom should be aware of.

    I wonder how many pissed off Chiefs girlfriends there are at the moment, hope those boys (cause they sure aren’t men) are suffering. KARMA

  12. dukeofurl 12

    Going to the Museum, you see the signs , Dont touch the Exhibits.

    Why do rugby players, when asked to not touch the performer, dont do as asked.

    • weston 12.1

      Wasnt it plato who said “a stiff cock hath no conscience ” ?

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Nope.

        He did have some interesting ideas on how perceived impunity (such as from invisibility) would inevitably lead to predatory behaviour, but that says more about him that it does about the human condition.

  13. Gangnam Style 13

    SLightly off topic but kind of similar attitude..

    From the ODT a few days ago about David Bain…

    “Of particular note were Mr Callinan’s remarks about an alleged incestuous relationship between Robin Bain and his daughter, Laniet.
    The relationship was promoted by the defence as a possible motive for Robin to murder the family. However, Mr Callinan was “not satisfied” the sexual relationship existed.
    “All of the evidence about this came from Laniet in the first place,” he said.
    “Laniet herself was unreliable, a prostitute and user … of marijuana.”

    • weston 13.1

      Thered prob be a market up here for the ODT it gets quoted so often it MUST be good !!.Are you saying prostitutes are commonly poorly represented or what exactly gs ?

      • Gangnam Style 13.1.1

        No I am saying they said Laniet was unreliable because she was a drug using prostitute, like the Gallagher woman & Chiefs CEO saying the strippers “standing in the community and culpability is not beyond reproach”. Victorian values or something? The ODT is OK, they are independent & the owners are local, very conservative but balanced I think. It’s just my local paper.

        *No view whatsoever on the Bain case, I have no idea what is what with that one, even though I live down the road from Every St.

        • weston 13.1.1.1

          I just figured re the bain case that david was prob innocent since he was responsible for much of the order in an otherwise dysfunctional family .Robyn the “head of the family ” living in a caravan at the rear of the property every reason to feel embittered and of an age to reflect callousness which you would need to systematically walk arround the house shooting yr entire family in the head at point blank range .I doubt the experience is like people killing other people in the movies youd need to be pretty tough .

  14. Binders full of women 14

    1 NZ rugby needs to few- no a lot- more David Pococks.
    2 And how often do we see these words in the same sentence— NZ rower court violence alcohol. Never.
    3 Google- Zealand + rugby + assault= 541,000 results.

  15. BM 15

    This is all rather lightweight stuff.

    • miravox 15.1

      “This is all rather lightweight stuff.”

      Says someone who has never been groped or otherwise abused at work?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        Wingnuts: paying lip service to personal responsibility since forever.

      • BM 15.1.2

        This is such a non story beaten out of all perspective by the SJWs and a tabloid driven media.

        • miravox 15.1.2.1

          I don’t know, not treating people like shit seems really important to me. Even more important is that people who are taught to know better (Rugby players PR’d to the nth degree and management types being good examples) don’t get that treating people with respect is sort of the right thing to do.

          OAB (above 15.1.2) says it better of course.

    • framu 15.2

      if its true, its sexual assault

      hardly lightweight

  16. Don't worry. Be happy 16

    Rugby thugby. Always been this way. Always will be. Just keep the drunken violent creeps out of schools please and stop calling them role models for children. The National Game was the National Shame all the way through the horror of South Africa under apartheid so no surprise that decades later the “stars” mock and taunt gays. Rugby has always been in bed/revolving door with the National Party and the cops. Fair enough. It is a free world. But please….stop the hypocrisy. These poor exuses for men do not represent NZ. They are not the best of us. They are best ignored.

  17. Lara 17

    “gives the impression that I am questioning the integrity of her vocation and her choice around that”

    No.

    It gives the impression that you think she’s lying because she’s a stripper. Just a woman stripper.

    That sounds like a “sorry – not sorry” non apology.

  18. b waghorn 18

    Cn the bright side 20 years ago this sort of behaviour would not have raised an eyebrow in rugby circles.

  19. miravox 19

    Gallagher Group Corporate Services exec “Margaret Comer sparked a social media outcry when she said: “If a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her?””

    If a woman is a corporate services worker can solve and employee problem what are we supposed to do if one of them shouts abuse at her?

    If a person works on a customer service help desk can’t solve customer problem what are we supposed to do if thy get abused?

    Abuse is not part of the job. As a service executive she should know that. While I’m at it…

    If a person walks around with a walking stick what are we supposed to do someone kicks it away?

    If a guy turns up at a pub with red hair, what are we supposed to do if someone bullies him?

    If a person walks around with a cool cellphone what are we supposed to do they get robbed?

    I guess it all depends on your ethics.

  20. Sabine 20

    ahhh
    so he is apologizing for being caught out not for being a wanker.

    such a lovely fellow and grown up, i am sure he will coach his boys into great things.

  21. RedBaronCV 21

    Try the counterfactual- a team of young men in Hamilton put on shorts and tight shirts (to showcase their “manliness”) and went onto a field to give a performance to an audience. Unable to restraint themselves, women in the audience ran onto the field to handle and touch them despite having been repeatedly told not. When the performance ended the women refused to pay the full amount. Spokespeople for the women said they didn’t condone the behavior but what did those young men expect – displaying themselves like that.

    Can’t ever see that happening can you?
    And regardless of what did or didn’t happen the public comments of the CEO and the Chiefs executive where wildly inappropriate – not that they can see that.

  22. Yawn, to quote Clint Eastwood “Just f**king get over it” “That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells.

    • McFlock 22.1

      “Don’t grope a woman without her permission” is hardly “walking on eggshells” for most normally-functioning adults.

    • framu 22.2

      ” Everybody’s walking on eggshells”

      I’m not – pretty much never feel that way. (And im super low brow as well)

  23. vto 23

    While the touching and abuse was and always is completely unacceptable, there were a couple of things in this which stood out….

    One, it has been amusing to see society call the stripping a legitimate activity while at the same time decrying the men for watching this legitimate activity. The two don’t go. Society is confused. How surprising ….

    Two, silly Jessie Mulligan cried out in surprise a couple days ago that it appeared that even “old crusty men” got that it was abuse and unacceptable…. as if this was something surprising… I would suggest that in the days when these “crusty old men” were young men they showed more respect in these situations, and that in fact there really has been a deterioration in society’s behaviour since then. Today’s men are the ones that don’t measure up, not 1950’s man. 1950’s man wore a hat, had manners, and would have shown respect to this woman.

    Not today’s man though. … .but you know, hammer the old white man. … . Even though they were young men, and even though nobody knows whether they were white or brown. … . Doesn’t matter eh. … . throw in the ‘white’ element. … . throw in the ‘old’ element. … . Even bloody Linda Clark te other day on radio, same thing, prejudices flying.. … .

    society is confused and unsettled

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