Keego has been let back out the dungeon and sets his sights on Irelands favorite mad grandad.
The board of The Daily clothesline have finally lifted my 16 week ban for inciting various mass debates.
Today started like any other. I was still basking in the post 6 nation’s victory and then someone posted this link (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/painful-truths-about-rugby-culture-1.1729828) on my twitter (@nkeegan), knowing that it would wind me up.
Before I kick off and roast the author of this piece, Vincent Browne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Browne) is good on his television program. The subject matter is such that his researchers have tailored everything to his strengths. That being current affairs and politics. He has a vast knowledge of these topics and leads the debate well there…
As you can see from the above link, our friend Vinnie has stepped away from his strengths. Well it is more than a few steps; he has hopped on a plane and flown far far away from anything he knows about.
Vincent speaks about the macho-ness of rugby, how the aim of the game is to inflict pain on opponents and that there is still homophobia in the game. This is hot on the heels of our other mad friend Neil Francis and hairdresser-gate from a few weeks back (lets not get back into that mess). Now I do not expect Vin B to get into the same palaver that Francis did as he has a modicum more likeability than Neil Francis. Mad Vinnie calls the rugby culture ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘disturbing’.
Vincent knows about as much about rugby culture as I do about dog grooming. That being very little, I know there is brushing involved but I know very little else about the ins and outs of the operation.
I understand that this is an opinion piece. So technically it cannot be wrong as it is Vincent’s opinion. But in this case, it IS wrong! The examples of Brian O’Driscoll (the greatest man that ever lived) and Donncha O’Callaghan (the greatest tan in rugby) are brought up as examples of players who have taken part in casual violence on the pitch, yet he finishes the piece by saying both are decent, honest and upstanding players.
It really does appear that Vin read some articles after the big weekend we just had and formed an opinion based on zero knowledge of the topic. I would wager that he hasn’t been in a rugby club in decades and that he hasn’t been in a rugby locker room in millennia. How is he an authority on rugby culture when he hasn’t been anywhere near it?
He also mentioned homophobia in rugby. It is a sexy topic after mad Neil (the other mad Neil) got his man pants in a knot the other week. Yet he fails to mention that there are players playing around the world who are out and happy in the rugby club environment. But also and more importantly, it is none of his business what player’s orientation is. As a former player, and after asking a few questions of players currently playing, it doesn’t matter to them or me whether they prefer men or women, it just matters that they make the tackle and score the try. There is a gay rugby team in Ireland that is thriving and playing teams from all over the country.
Rugby is one of the best team sports to show honesty of effort, sportsmanship and team spirit. Watching the Leinster Senior Cup over the weekend showed that it is great for teaching younger players these life skills. Clongowes and Blackrock College tore strips off each other. They played with guts and heart. Yet afterwards, they shook hands and cheered each other off the pitch. This is how the game IS played in 2014. This is how the game has always been played. There where players of all religions, creeds, backgrounds and orientations playing in the game. It made no difference.
I just wish Vincent Browne took notice of this, and let his thoughts roll around his head before submitting his piece to the Irish Times. Instead of just talking without even using a simple Google search.
In closing, I find Vincent Browne’s opinion piece to be idiotic and stone aged in nature. He has very little knowledge on the topic at hand. The worrying part is that people listen to his opinions and take them seriously.
If any readers know Vincent and would like to send the link to him, then please do. I would welcome his reply and a conversation on the topic.