Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sometimes a banana is just a banana


The sport of AFL never gets reported in NZ, except when something non-sport happens. Latest non-sport news: A Port Adelaide fan is banned for throwing a banana at Eddie Betts after kicking an impossible (winning) goal for the Crows. (Eddie, by the way, is aboriginal.)

A banana? At ‘The Footy Almanac' Earl O’Neill writes’:

“The banana has me intrigued.  Did she plan on throwing it at Eddie?  Was she thinking, when looking through her kitchen for a convenient, healthy football snack, ‘Apple, no racial connotations there; orange, no; banana, yeah, awright!  Eddie will cop it!  The other Eddie will love it!’
    “People may have objections to cultural practices like clitoridectomies but to hate someone purely because of their ethnicity is something I just don’t understand.  Eddie Betts is a player who has always seemed to be well-loved by all for his freakish skills, big grin, baggy shorts, except when he’s kicking goals against your team.  Then you hate him like you’d hate any other player, i.e., until the end of the match or until you’ve properly vented your spleen.
    “‘Goddamn you Betts, ya flipping bastard, kicking four impossible goals outa yr arse!’
    “No need for boong, nigger, etc.  … What if the next Eddie Betts was named Tran Tinh Nguyen or Ahmed al-Heraza?  Would the likes of Banana Woman be packing egg noodles or felafels?  You can buy both at the Showground, meat pies and burgers too, in case you have something against Anglo-Celtics.
    “I’m pretty much a free-speech absolutist and incidents like this illustrate why.  How are you gonna call out petty bigotry if you don’t know it exists, if you don’t have examples like Banana Woman? And, on top of that, how are you gonna fluff up your own self-righteousness without her and her confreres?”

Which is what the AFL head honcho and sundry Melbourne journalists were doing all day yesterday.

I can’t help wondering what cigar-loving Sigmund Freud might have said about it all. But I’d bet he would have enjoyed round 22’s best moments (including Eddie’s out-of-his-arse goal at 4:40):



1 comment:

  1. Apparently throwing bananas at black sportsman has been done before, and is intended to imply they are monkeys/apes. So it probably did have racial connotations, but still seems to have been blown out of proportion in that:

    1. This was the action of one crass individual only, and

    2. Sportsman and their fans regularly taunt their opposition with insults/sledging to try and gain some phsychological advantage over their opponents, without it necessarily being an indicator of deep seated racism or real hatred.


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