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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Guest blog: Politics and Sport don't mix.

----------------Introducing guest blogger Martyn Bradbury----------------

Now, I don't generally give a toss about sport - don't get me wrong, I appreciate the skill required to kick, hit, throw things, but the knuckle dragging mob macho mentality that goes with it has always left me cold, so I tend to never comment about sport or sporting stuff. But sometimes, just sometimes I'm so outraged by something that happens within the sporting
world that I feel the need to stand up and scream 'Oi you NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'! This is one such case.

Let me see if I can get this completely straight on our upcoming tour to Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, (a man who must be getting close to becoming added to the long list of monsters humanity seems to vomit up), tortures, kills and torments his population in some of the most appalling ways and we respond by sending a cricket team?

Now I know the Black Caps are crap, but I think the sense of insult may get lost on Zimbabwe. NZ cricket defends this by saying that they will get fined and might lose out on co-hosting the World Cup with Australia - well excuse me Mr NZ Cricket but maybe that cost is a righteous one to bear, are you seriously telling us money is more important to you than the principle of not touring Africas Killing Fields? I loved NZ Crickets come back that they wouldn't want to deny the 80 000 black players of the game in Zimbabwe, I mean bulldoze a million peoples houses, but for the love of Christ let them play cricket. The financial excuses for letting the tour go ahead are repugnant and lower the entire concept of sportsmanship, if Cricket is
merely a franchise with no deeper ethos to it, I say let it rot in hell.

Now there are some who have pointed out that this is easy posturing because China and America both are killing people at a massive rate and we seem to be quiet in our criticism in those cases, and I couldn't agree more. China is still in Tibet, thousands go to their death and China doesn't allow basic human rights while the US illegally invades countries on trumped up bullshit reasons and is currently responsible for any where between 25 000 - 100 000 deaths in Iraq. These are dreadful things which our spineless government should be criticising, no question. But to hold up our lack of criticism on those events as a reason we shouldn't have a voice on Zimbabwe is simply nonsense, we can do something small, and that is refuse to play with them. How can you play with someone while their country burns from self inflicted wounds? Politics and Sport shouldn't mix, but in extreme cases you can not ignore the cries of those who are suffering, please note NZ Cricket that while you are over there YOU DO NOT REPRESENT ME! And now you've shown your true colours you won't EVER represent me again.


At 7/7/05 7:16 pm, Blogger Cathy Odgers said...

It is amazing how many NZers have come out and had a view on this.

I am a cricket supporter, love the game and they are professionals. They get paid to go do a job.

Yes, they represent NZ but if the number of people wallowing about this actually supported the Black Caps (even during times they suck) and the game of Cricket in general, then they would understand that you can't go cancelling these things anymore, not in the professional era.

I don't want the NZ government to tell me I can't go to a particular country to make money - why should sportspeople be any different?

Leave politics where it belongs, in the gutter, these guys are going to fulfill contractual obligations.

Anti-sporting, arty farty blowhards who don't even like sport need not worry, NZ sportspeople are not representing them; they are doing it for their professional status and representing those of us that support the sport they play.

That support is regardless of whether the team wins, loses or is playing in a country that we cringe at being associated with.

At 7/7/05 7:18 pm, Blogger Cathy Odgers said...

Anti-sporting, arty farty blowhards - probably not a good description of Bomber; but he is only commenting because it is political and he comments on those things.

At 8/7/05 3:34 pm, Anonymous Reasonable Ray said...

I'm surprised it took as long as it did for this to become an issue. This tour has been planned for at least 2 years. I was beginning to wonder where John Minto had gone, cynically thinking he was only interested in White on Black racism and repression, but big ups to him for coming out. NZC would love an out on this. The only (sporting) value is a few cheap wins (Zim really are crap)but at a huge moral and ethical cost. NZC are damned if they do, damned if they don't. I take it, Bomber, you will similarly support a boycotting of the Beijing Olympics?


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