On Monday 1 August 2016 the Chiefs Super Rugby team had their Mad Monday celebrations, which by the way, was the first time I had heard of such a thing. For some stupid reason the players hired a stripper and everything went downhill from there.
I was so disgusted with that, and then the allegations of inappropriate behaviour toward the stripper herself, made me realise that I needed to do something about it. If I didn’t, as an avid supporter of the team, I was in effect condoning their behaviour. But I did’t want to just say in a Facebook post that I was ‘disappointed’, ‘angry’, blah blah blah, I wanted to make a stand as a man; as a maori; and as a leader that this behaviour is unacceptable and there needed to be greater consequences than just a media hype for a day or two and then everything goes back to normal.
Having seen YouTube used for good and bad, and once published they are basically there forever, I thought I would make my stand public via YouTube and my blog.
My friends and family know how one-eyed I can be about things like rugby teams, and other things I’m passionate about, and most knew I was a pretty staunch support of the Chiefs. Their play and rhetoric and contribution inspired me and I was a very proud supporter. I wore my jersey almost everywhere and I made no bones about who was my Super Rugby team, even in countries where rugby is barely known or understood.
So making this stand to my friends and family about our besotted support for a sports team must have parameters. We must make a point of not condoning behaviour that is incongruent with their rhetoric, stated values and persona in the public arena.
To make it really tangible I decided that burning my Super Rugby Jersey, the badge I proudly wore until this week, was a good way of demonstrating that I no longer support a team that condones this level of behaviour. I thought I might cringe at doing such a thing, but to be honest, I’m so angry about it that I am glad I have gotten rid of the thing and my association with their behaviour.
So here is a video of my rant and then burning of the rugby jersey. Yip, and you will see it burn, burn, burn!
I challenge others to do likewise so that a message is heard loud and clear in NZ that this sort of crap is not acceptable behaviour of anyone, particularly those who are supposed to hold up the moral code of our society.
The Chiefs rugby team are no longer ‘chiefs’ in my eyes; they no longer hold mana in my opinion; and they have disgraced their region, their fans and Maori in doing so.
Shame on you!
[youtube id=”https://youtu.be/EZlWRXOdxOI” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””]
Update 8 Aug 16: I did a follow up video post… here it is