Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Peanuts in the gallery

Pardon my scepticism, but what exactly is the ICC going to do with this investigation into 'racism' at Australian grounds?. Other than security walking through stands with microphones set on 'high' to pick up traces of offensive language being directed at players, what could be done? Offenders could be reported by other spectators (thus requiring their co-operation), players could try and identify those that had yelled out, and police could act decisively to throw out offenders, and so on, all of which means way more policing at grounds, and that always seems like a bad idea to me.

More interesting, is the puzzling nature of the abuse itself. As a South African friend of mine said:

"It's inexplicable. The remarks are in Afrikaans, so chances are that it's South Africans. But the phrase that is being used translates to "n*gger-lover". So I'm at a loss to explain what the motivation is. Especially since it seems to have been aimed at Andre Nel. If him, why not everyone else in the team? More specifically, if they have an issue with non-white players in the team, why not hurl abuse at them? It's beyond me. Perhaps it's an Australian trying to upset the South Africans?"

I understand the bit about it not being directed at people other Nel - he seemed to have made a special little spot for himself in the hearts and minds of crowds the world over. But the rest is still puzzling. My personal theory is that some drunken Afrikaner at Perth started it, and then Aussie copycats have been going on with it (not knowing what it means but knowing that it pissed off whoever on the ground was the target for it).

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