Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why they hate Quade

In his classic essay 'Our Sea of Islands' the late and much lamented Tongan anthropologist and satirist Epeli Hau'ofa discussed the massive movements of people which have been such a feature of postcolonial Pacific history. Hau'ofa argued that, far from fleeing their cultures or selling out to capitalism, Polynesians who move to large foreign cities in search of work and other opportunities are breaking out of the narrow political and conceptual boxes colonialism made for them, and resuming the tradition of inter-island travel which flourished in pre-colonial times.

Quade Cooper's family are part of the great modern migration which Hau'ofa's most famous work celebrates: a decade ago they left Tokoroa, the depressed timber town in the south Waikato region of Te Ika a Maui, and settled in Queensland. Cooper’s father had lost his job after one of Tokoroa’s dwindling number of mills had closed, and he could see no future in New Zealand.

In Brisbane the young Cooper quickly became known as an uncommonly promising rugby player. Before he was twenty Cooper was playing for the Wallabies, and over the last couple of years he has become the side's star player.

Over the last few weeks, though, Quade Cooper's fame has turned, in New Zealand at least, to notoriety. From the time he stepped off the plane with the rest of Australia's World Cup Rugby Squad, Cooper has been the target of a stream of condemnation, mockery, and threats. Fans, sports commentators and pundits, and the coach of the All Blacks have all joined in the chorus of abuse. Facebook pages with names like I Hate Quade Cooper, Quade Cooper Traitor Disgrace and Kill Quade Cooper have appeared, unflattering photoshopped images of Cooper have been widely circulated, and a talkback host on the popular Radio Sport station has encouraged listeners to stalk and harrass Cooper as he moves through New Zealand with the Wallabies squad.

Instead of distancing themselves from the abuse of Cooper, New Zealand's rugby and media establishments have suggested that the young man deserves what he is getting. During a typically rambling, graceless press conference last weekend, Graham Henry said that Cooper had "brought a wee bit" of abuse on himself, and claimed that the player did not deserve to be respected by his opponents or by the New Zealand public. Henry's comments were reported reverently by the New Zealand media, which also mocked Cooper when he complained about 'getting it from all angles' during his time in this country. How can we explain the extraordinary outpouring of hatred against Quade Cooper in recent weeks? The Quade-haters typically explain their feelings by citing Cooper's New Zealand birth, his flamboyantly combative sporting persona, and the series of on-field clashes he has had with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

These excuses do not stand up to scrutiny.

Cooper may have been born in New Zealand, but he has lived in Australia since he was thirteen. It is curious that the Kiwis who label him a 'traitor' do not throw the same label at Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who was born in this country, grew up here, played his rugby for Canterbury and the All Blacks, and then decided, after being passed over for the All Blacks coaching job in 2007, to cross the Tasman. Despite his much deeper ties with New Zealand and the blatant self-interest behind his defection to Australia, Deans remains a very popular figure in this country.

Cooper is a competitive player who likes to tease his opponents on and off the field. He has used a twitter account to celebrate Aussie victories and hit back at his critics after defeats. Sometimes Cooper seems intent on winding up All Blacks players and supporters. He has questioned the abilities of several All Blacks players, and he seems to enjoy talking while the New Zealand national anthem is being played before games.

But Cooper is hardly the first Aussie sportsman to have a cocky attitude. Many of Cooper's predecessors in the Wallabies have been admired for their cockiness. Back in the 1980s and early nineties David Campese regularly teased his opposite number John Kirwan and other All Blacks in the lead up to big trans-Tasman tests. But 'Campo' was celebrated as a 'character' who added to the colour of the game, not subjected to hate campaigns.

Cooper's clashes with Richie McCaw have been widely-publicised, but they have not gotten him into serious trouble with rugby administrators. After the final of the Tri-series competition in August Cooper was accused of maliciously kneeing McCaw in the head, but a disciplinary panel decided that his action was probably not deliberate. Many other players have committed far more egregious offences in recent years than Cooper. Quade Cooper is hated not for any legitimate reason, but because he unsettles the categories and assumptions beloved of many Pakeha rugby fans.

The All Blacks were one of the earlier integrated institutions in New Zealand, but traditionally there was an ethnic division of power within the team. For decades the All Blacks were nearly always captained by Pakeha. Maori were a loyal minority, except when the team toured South Africa, when they were dispensed with altogether. The All Blacks were often cited by politicians as a reflection of the country's supposed racial harmony, and many Pakeha internalised this notion.

In recent decades the growing diversity of New Zealand society, the increased power of Maori, and the professionalisation of rugby have all led to major changes in the All Blacks. Polynesians have sometimes been a majority in the team, the lure of foreign money has given players more power and made a number of them turn their backs on All Blacks careers, and repeated World Cup failures have reduced the mana of the team.

As observers like Chris Laidlaw have noted, the unease which many Kiwi rugby fans feel about the future of their game and team mirrors the uncertainty they feel about the economic and political future of their nation in the twenty-first century.

Amidst all the uncertainty of today's rugby world, Richie McCaw has come to seem, to many fans, a throwback to the glorious and safe days of the 1950s and '60s, when the All Blacks were consistently the best team in the world, and players never worried about contracts or sponsorship deals or their media image. With his rock jaw, old-fashioned haircut and sparse, homespun vocabulary, McCaw recalls heroes of yesteryear like Pinetree Meads and Brian Lochore. McCaw inspires extraordinary reverence amongst Kiwi rugby fans, and his team's quest for this year's World Cup has been portrayed, in the media and on fans' discussion fora, as a sort of effort at redemption, an attempt to revive a lost golden age.

McCaw is less popular outside New Zealand. Many overseas fans see him as a dirty player, who habitually lies on the wrong sides of rucks, daring referees to penalise him, and who has a penchant for throwing punches from the safety of the bottom of a maul.

New Zealand journalist Chris Rattue, who has a habit of dissenting from orthodox rugby opinion in this country, has suggested that the campaign against Quade Cooper began after the player 'got under the skins' of the All Blacks earlier this year. Cooper is, Rattue reckons, one of the 'very few people' who have been able to 'upset Richie McCaw'. Rattue believes that Cooper's flashy, unpredictable play and his willingness to take McCaw on physically and verbally rattled the All Blacks captain, who had become accustomed to intimidating his opponents.

Rattue suggests that McCaw began to give Cooper special attention, and that New Zealand rugby fans noticed his confrontations with the troublesome Aussie, took a hint, and began to direct their wrath towards Cooper.

Rattue's argument explains how Quade Cooper became a target for All Blacks supporters, but it does not explain the incredible intensity of the hatred for Cooper.

To explain the excesses of the campaign against Cooper we have to examine what he means to the Pakeha rugby fans who have been following, abusing, and threatening him. Cooper has expressed his pride in his ancestry, but he has no sentimental attachment to the All Blacks, and has no time for New Zealand nationalism.

Cooper is not even overly loyal to rugby: he seriously considered signing on with league team the Paramatta Eels last year, and was only kept in the rugby union fold by a one-year contract and the prospect of a World Cup. He has been tipped to defect to league next year.

As a brash, articulate young man proud to be Maori yet contemptuous of shibboleths of New Zealand identity like the All Blacks and the national anthem, Cooper confounds many assumptions still common amongst conservative Pakeha. He seems to them disloyal, self-centred, and aggressive. His confrontations with Richie McCaw, that embodiment of all that is pure in New Zealand society and rugby, are unforgivable.

At the same time that the media has been attacking Cooper, they have been busy praising Piri Weepu, the man who has become, in the absence of the injured Dan Carter, the most important part of the All Blacks backline.

A series of newspaper, radio and television profiles have discussed Weepu's continuing close connections with Wainuiomata, the poor outer Wellington neighbourhood where he was raised, and his decision to refuse the lure of foreign cash and remain in New Zealand and in the All Blacks. Weepu has been praised in rather patronising fashion for his 'loyalty' to his neighbourhood, his country, and his captain.

It is hard not see an implicit contrast being drawn between Cooper, the 'cheeky Maori' who turns out for a 'foreign' team, mocks the sacred symbols of New Zealand nationalism, and pursues his own interests, and the 'good Maori' Weepu, who knows his place and sticks to it.

But not everybody in this country hates Quade Cooper.

Epeli Hau'ofa celebrated emigrant Polynesians, and rejected charges that they were somehow self-centred or disloyal to the nation where they were born. Why, Hau’ofa indignantly asked, should people be criticised for refusing to be bound by lines on a map made by their colonisers? Why shouldn’t they take themselves and their culture wherever they want?

In much the same way, a number of Maori, including Tokoroan members of Cooper's Waikato iwi, have defended the player. Some have asked why Cooper should be expected to show loyalty to the New Zealand state which colonised his people, and to an All Blacks side which for long decades excluded Maori from leadership positions. In debates at the I Hate Quade Cooper Facebook page Cooper's defenders and detractors seem split along ethnic lines.

Ultimately, the hate campaign against Quade Cooper tells us more about the deformities of New Zealand society than it does about Cooper.

41 Comments:

Blogger Sanctuary said...

I think this post is guilty of wildly self-indulgent over-analysis. Quade Cooper's feud with McCaw is entirely of his own making, as was his decision to label himself "public enemy number one" on arrival for the RWC and to declare he welcomed the tag. The media focus on New Zealand and the RWC to the exclusion of practically anything else reminds me of the mindset famously expressed in the 1930's British newspaper headline: "Fog in Channel, Europe cut off". Lots of the All Black's fans campaign for this world cup had resembled the patriotic war fever that engulfed Europe in August 1914, and in the last few weeks the whole tournament has taken on the nature of a crusade as the team itself has responded to the war fever around it. At the centre of this fervour is the very man Cooper decided to goad, Ritchie McCaw. McCaw is a genuinely charismatic and inspirational leader. Goading a lion then entering it's den is always a really dumb thing to do.

When you've got a heady mix of patriotic war fever and a self-indentified beastly hun whose self-declared intention is to get the most saintly example of muscular Christianity we've ever had, then you don't need to a sophisticated analysis to work out what is going to happen. And besides, Cooper is a dangerous attacking player and when it became clear the crowds were getting to him, well, thats just home court advantage at work, isn't it.

The nationalism on display at the moment is something else, arguably something new - a phenomena that was first hinted at in some of Winston Peters early appeal and now something that appears to be a fully fledged force in this country. The ubiquity of the use of the black silver fern flag alongside (and often in place of) the New Zealand ensign is interesting. It seems to me the black silver fern flag has now adopted a psychological place similar to that held by the Gadsden flag in the United States. The elites in this country have since the 1980s conspired to repress popular patriotism, but it seems to me that it cannot be ignored for much longer and it is only a matter of time before a politician with sufficient skill to harness it comes along. I have always thought the definition of good leadership is to spot which way the crowd is going and make sure you are in front of it. It seems to me, then, that it would be nice just for once for the left to be in the forefront of what to my mind is a coming social movement. The left should attempt to to turn the nascent political force of nationalism in a Bolivarian direction, before a populist from the right uses it for something even more frightening.

8:16 am  
Anonymous Raymond F said...

Sanctuary seems to have nailed it
And I might add Richie has been concussed twice, next time should be the last time he is allowed to play
Meanwhile Quade Cooper seems to have fixation with McCaws's head, then cops dislike in NZ
The rest is just rugby bullshit although judging by Quade's playing worked

9:10 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"Quade Cooper is hated not for any legitimate reason, but because he unsettles the categories and assumptions beloved of many Pakeha rugby fans"

Nah, sorry. It's the knee to the back of the head. The IRB couldn't rule on the intention, but everybody else could, and did. Cooper rode the sentiment and here we are. The racism here is accessory, not causal.

"It is hard not see an implicit contrast being drawn between Cooper, the 'cheeky Maori' who turns out for a 'foreign' team, mocks the sacred symbols of New Zealand nationalism, and pursues his own interests, and the 'good Maori' Weepu, who knows his place and sticks to it."

It is really not that hard :-)

9:28 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Even assuming - and it is an assumption many observers don't appear willing to make - that Cooper's knee to the head of McCaw was unprovoked, he's hardly the first bloke to have a go at an All Blacks captain. There have been much more egregious assaults on New Zealand rugby icons in the past. Yet no player has suffered anything like the hate campaign directed at Cooper.

What has made Cooper stand out from the many other visited players perceived over the years as dirty or dangerous by the Kiwi rugby public?

The answer, surely, is his race and his decision to play for Aussie instead of this country. The spectacle of a Maori playing for Australia and bagging New Zealand drives Pakeha rugby fans into a frenzy of hatred. And I'm not sure the left knows how to deal with the phenomenon, either. That's where Epeli Hau'ofa comes in...

11:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCaw is the best openside in the world. Yes he's dirty, all flankers are. The best flankers are the one's that don't get caught in the act.

11:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCaw is the best openside in the world. Yes he's dirty, all flankers are. The best flankers are the one's that don't get caught in the act.

11:34 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"What has made Cooper stand out from the many other visited players perceived over the years as dirty or dangerous by the Kiwi rugby public?

The answer, surely, is his race and his decision to play for Aussie instead of this country."

You're mistaking correlation for causation. There have been several NZ born Wallabies and Australia-born All Blacks. Cooper has taken a series of cheap shots at McCaw, to get at him psychologically as much as anything else, and his playing up of his bad guy role has been very calculated, for he clearly thought it might help him and his team. It hasn't worked. But it's not hard to get crowds to boo you.

11:40 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Giovanni,

I agree that Cooper would have come in for some stick even if he had been born in Wagga Wagga, because of the way he plays and talks. But the fact that he's at one and same time proudly Maori and contemptuous of the shibboleths of New Zealand nationalism blows the minds of many of the people who hate him, and massively intensifies the antagonism. Most New Zealanders just don't have a conceptual frame to deal with someone like Cooper.

11:52 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"Most New Zealanders just don't have a conceptual frame to deal with someone like Cooper."

I really don't know what you base this statement on. Having found racism on a Facebook page for people who hate a player who happens to be Maori? That is awfully thin.

11:55 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Maori are supposed to exist as a loyal minority within New Zealand.
Both old-fasioned assimilationist conservative Pakeha and liberal advocates of the Treaty share this vision. When Tame Iti throws his arms up and says "Hey, I'm not a Kiwi, I don't live in your country, I've got no loyalty to your flag" a lot of Pakeha get upset.

In his own less conscious way, Cooper also rejects the notion that Maoriness and New Zealandness must go hand in hand. By being proudly Maori and yet having no time at all for New Zealandness he puts himself outside the mental framework of many Pakeha, and indeed some Maori. My argument is that Epeli Hau'ofa's magnificent essay can help us find a new framework to understand identity in New Zealand and elsewhere in the Pacific.

12:27 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

As for the matter of an empirical survey of New Zealand opinion on Quade: I invite Giovanni to accompany me to my poor excuse for a local, the Thirsty Rooster Tavern in Glendene, on Friday night, to watch the Aussies take on those sentimental favourites of Kiwis, Wales...

12:30 pm  
Anonymous Nik said...

Quades a fucken traitor, Ozzie scum

12:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youll get the bash for this ay

12:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

QADE IS A TRAITOR TO THE MAX HE SHOULD RIP THOSE TATTS OFF HIS ARM

1:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How can we explain the extraordinary outpouring of hatred against Quade Cooper in recent weeks?"

Easy, and it has nothing to do with this ethnic background nor his playing for Australia. The reason why we dislike him can be summed up in two words:

"Cheap shots"

Had he not taken those petty shots against McCaw, in situations where McCaw was unable to defend himself, then NZ would have no problem with Cooper other than his skills on the field potentially causing the All Blacks to lose. By taking those cheap shots, and then taunting the NZ population, he brought the opprobrium upon himself.

Digby Ioane is also NZ born, and we all admire him, for some reason...

1:46 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

But loads of players have taken cheap shots at All Blacks captains over the years. What about the Argentinian player who launched a spectacular aerial assault against ABs captain David Kirk in the dying stages of a crucial World Cup game in 1987, almost knocking Kirk out? Why wasn't he hounded around the country?

And Quade Cooper was being attacked as a traitor on the net long before that knee to McCaw's head. Facebook was already full of anti-Quade obsessives. The knee no doubt exacerbated Cooper's unpopularity, but he was hardly a beloved figure at the beginning of this year's rugby season.

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

'Digby Ioane is also NZ born, and we all admire him, for some reason...'

But he's not Maori - he's Samoan. New Zealand has a completely different historical relationship with Samoa. Whereas Pakeha are very keen to assert the assimilation or incorporation of Maori into New Zealand, very few are inclined to remember that the New Zealand state once use its muscle to try to assimilate Samoans. Many do not even know Samoa was for decades a de facto part of their country. New Zealand governments, including most famously the Muldoon regime, have worked hard to deny the claims of Samoans to New Zealand citizenship on the basis of their colonial history. So there isn't the same potential angst when a New Zealand-born Samoan turns out for the Wallabies.

2:11 pm  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"But loads of players have taken cheap shots at All Blacks captains over the years. What about the Argentinian player who launched a spectacular aerial assault against ABs captain David Kirk in the dying stages of a crucial World Cup game in 1987, almost knocking Kirk out? Why wasn't he hounded around the country? "

He might have, had he done it in a string of games, and had he played for Australia has opposed to Argentina.

2:22 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

How about Phil Kearns' clashes with the All Blacks and with dirty old Sean Fitzpatrick? Kearns had some ugly exchanges with Fitzpatrick in a number of tests, and he even gave the fingers to the ABs after scoring a try in an important 1990 test. And Kearns is still mouthing off about the All Blacks today, as a commentator.

So why has there never been a hate campaign against Kearns?

Cooper's Maori identity is crucial to understanding the out of control hatred against him...

3:44 pm  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"Cooper's Maori identity is crucial to understanding the out of control hatred against him..."

So you keep saying. Yet curiously Cooper has been playing for the Wallabies for a couple of seasons and in Super rugby for four yet this supposedly racially tinged hatred only came out after he started targeting McCaw.

"So why has there never been a hate campaign against Kearns?"

Was Kearns a dirty player? This is before my time, but it's not how Wikipedia tells it.

3:56 pm  
Anonymous Tane said...

Cooper a proud Maori, hardly, he speaks no reo, has bugger all knowledge of Maoridom and it's culture.
To be blunt after that knee Cooper is bloody lucky he did not cop one in a game

4:22 pm  
Blogger Sanctuary said...

You would be on more solid ground if you claimed that Northern hemisphere referees were neo-colonialist in the way they referee islanders Scott. On the Copper thing, I would just declare that I had never met such a bunch of obstinately incorrect individuals in my life and leave it at that.

6:49 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

I haven't read Epeli Hau'ofa's book yet. I must now try to buy/order a copy from any of the local bookstores'.

7:53 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

He's well worth reading, Falufisi - he has a way of poking fun at Tongan society without being nasty.

When did command of reo become a criterion for Maori identity, Tane? If it is then a lot of Maori leaders, Paul Tapsell and Tariana Turia included, are in trouble. Epeli Hau'ofa warned about fundamentalist definitions of indigenous identity. If Quade say he's proud to be Maori do we take him at his word or make him take a test?

I'm going to adapt Marxist terminology and call you lefties who can't see the injustice in the treatment of Quade rugby-social-chauvinists!

10:13 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Rugby has always been a violent hate filled and ultimately pathetic activity (not a sport) (as seen by comments on here and especially if what Scott is saying is true about Quade, who seems to me to be a good joker, then that confirms my feelings about the game) racist game disguised as a nationalist-unifying sport.

N.Z. has always been very anxious to keep ties with racist South Africa. I think rugby players in particular admired the way the Whites over there kept the blacks ("blicks" they call them) under control over in SA.

Maori, to play in South Africa, had to be called "honorary Whites".

Superficailly, things are "better" but not it seems by the comments on here. And the hate that a team player gets, it seems, from NZrs.

There is truth in what Maps is saying. The details don't matter (who kicked who in what head when etc), let's take a position.

I hope NZ gets beaten by France.

12:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

h ha go france

stomp on mccaw fuck him up!

8:55 am  
Blogger Paul Janman said...

I don't know if maps has gone a step too far with the analysis (I suspect he hasn't).

I remember someone asking Prof. Anne Salmond why Polynesians had never migrated to Australia. Her answer was: "well they're doing it now."

There is definitely a blind spot in pakeha consciousness about the fluidity of Polynesian identities.

This is amplified by romantic notions of an intrinsic spiritual connection to the land that Polynesians often profess themselves. In Tonga they call it 'faka fonua' and it is used to justify both useful and oppressive causes. Pakeha have latched onto this ideology with 100% pure campaigns etc.

Polynesians and palangis have always migrated away from oppression and invented stories to comfort themselves in starkly foreign environments. Quade has taken on the persona of the prickly Australian larrakin among the snakes and other stingers.

Of course rugby is a tool of the nationalist social engineering of opinion. I remember seeing a slow mo close up during a recent all black haka. It was of two players - one islander and one pakeha both performing a dance native to neither of them.

My feelings were mixed. On the one hand there was a sense of pleasure in the symbol of diverse unity. On the other hand, I was determined not to get sucked in by the crude 'we are one' propaganda contained in the image the producer chose to show.

Perhaps Quade knows on some fairly non-intellectual level that we are not one at all. We still have lot to sort out and it won't be done by smoothing things over with feel good stuff about oneness.

Australians still have a worse record on race relations than we do so let's not offer the larrakins our achilles heel of collective delusion.

10:00 am  
Blogger dave said...

Lots of logic chopping going on here. What about some dialectical logic. We are in a crisis now, not in 1987 or 1990. Key and co have made the RWC (its here!)a drug induced frenzied mass rage to sublimate NZ's identity crisis as an almost failed state and arse licking lackey of the US. Sort of compounds many contradictions to compress the suppressed contradictions into an official channel as organised controlled national violence. Australia becomes the obvious target as the nearest and dearest imperialist power where rugby (rich brother to poor league)is one of the few areas NZers can claim dominance. A booby prize of course as it lasts no longer than the hangover. Cooper personifies all that and sensing that, is caste as the traitor (where Scott has a good point) rubbing the haka the wrong way with his tats.
But yeah the bigger issues are RWC colonialism, NZs complicity in this, the vile establishment treatment of Piri Weepu and exclusion of Renegade Ranger. Its always renegade Maori here that get the worst deal, not renegade Aussie domiciled Maori. This is a bigger issue because against the theatre of Cooper's vilification Weepu's deification in the church of the people is glorious to behold. Up the Blues!

12:06 pm  
Anonymous markus said...

"The elites in this country have since the 1980s conspired to repress popular patriotism..."

Depends whether you mean since the end of the 80s or (as I assume) since the 80s began. If the latter, then you might need to consider the welling-up of nationalism and patriotic fervour around the Lange Government's Anti-Nuclear legislation and stand-off with the US.

3:23 am  
Anonymous Mark said...

I tend to find these types of analysis to be based on making an argument to support a predetermined position. In this case your predetermined position is one constantly espoused by those of a mildly intellectual bent. That is, that Pakeha as a people are not as noble as Maori and whenever there is to be a “comparison” or “conflict” (for want of better words) the argument MUST show that Maori come out on top. That has influenced your argument to a large extent but to an equal extent you have made the error of believing that how you THINK other Pakeha think is therefore how indeed they do think (mind reading if you will). Whilst it is an interesting theory (and mildly bigoted against Pakeha) I think the evidence simply doesn’t stack up. You are placing too much emphasis on Pakeha believing this is a Maori thing. Whereas from the multitude of people I have spoken to (both Maori and Pakeha – I live in a small Far North town with a 50:50 mix) they dislike Cooper due to his gloating following the Hong Kong Test and his subsequent cheap shots like the knee to his head. In none of the conversations I have had has his ethnicity been raised even once. My Maori friends here in Kaitaia dislike him for the same reasons I do – i.e. for the reasons above. Until I read your post I had not even considered his ethnicity. You have made the same mistake groups make about other groups – stereotyping them based on your fixed views about them. Your views are based on an historical view of Pakeha – I can assure you that (at least in my community) Pakeha are very secure in their lives and proud of who they are.

8:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NZ's hate Quade Cooper because he plays for Australia...thats the bottom line. I am disgusted by the way they boo him everytime he touches the ball,its the worst form of bad sportmanship i have ever seen from a country. You should be ashamed while the entire world watches. I now believe my friends when they tell me how much New Zealand hates them for no reason. I will never visit NZ in my life because of this.

9:41 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

NZ's hate Quade Cooper because he plays for Australia...thats the bottom line. I am disgusted by the way they boo him everytime he touches the ball,its the worst form of bad sportmanship i have ever seen from a country. You should be ashamed while the entire world watches. I now believe my friends when they tell me how much New Zealand hates them for no reason. I will never visit NZ in my life because of this."

Yes its pretty pathetic. All these NZ rugger buggers have is this pathetic game. Who cares who brags about what or upper cuts whom or who wins what? It is all bullshit. As a Kiwi I can see your point, but not all of us are morons; there are some such as I, who, for example, have no interest in rugby, have never heard of Quadalude Cooper and don't care who he is, but (e.g.) love Mongolia very deeply.

Nihil bastardum carbarundem!

11:17 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Maps is probably knocking back the ales and cheering on the Welsh!

11:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People hate Cooper because he comes across as a douchebag and because he plays up to that image. In truth, he seems to be a decent enough guy, and most New Zealanders know that.

Most sports have characters like this (the NHL is full of them; football is full of them) who people love to hate. It has nothing to do with race for most people.

4:34 am  
Anonymous fuck you all said...

you are all SAD, SICK LOSERS

12:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mind the language please.

11:52 am  
Blogger Anonymous said...

This is so true, I've noticed this too. Quade Cooper is great, I'm proud of him. The hate campaign is disgusting and they would never treat him like that if he were white. White NZers think Maori and Maori culture belong to them. We don't exist independently, we're an aspect of their identity that's why they won't leave us alone. I think that is true about Richie Mccaw too, I never got his appeal. He cheats all the tme, the abs have been caught cheating on camera all tournament and nobody says anything - not even the refs! Last night Mccaw blatently kneed Parra in the head, we all saw it and nobody boos him. He's a grown man he should be able to take what he dishes out. And afaik he hasn't spoken out about the way his groupies are treating Quade, like he needs their protection, that's not very retro-manly is it?

7:36 pm  
Blogger Anonymous said...

But NZers do expect Pacific Islanders to be humble and know their place too, like some of the public reaction to Sonny Bill Williams and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu. And politically when island nations chalenge nz's self-appointed leader role in the region.

7:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Captain Cook first landed on the islands of New Zealand in the 1769, one thing immediately became apparent to him – the Maori people are fucking stone-cold hardcore. Part of this sudden realization concerning the undeniable badass credibility of the indigenous Polynesian peoples of this island probably stem from the fact that one of Cook's first encounters with the Maori happened when a pimped-out war canoe (I love the idea of "war canoes" by the way) rolled up alongside Cook's ship and a couple of skull-crushing tribesmen with gnarly full-face tattoos stood up in their ship and held up a set of perfectly-preserved severed heads they had recently detached from the torsos of a band of almost-equally-hardcore warriors. Cook noted with interest that these dried severed heads were so well preserved that the hair and facial features were still intact and fully-recognizable, which was a pretty impressive (if not creepy as fuck) feat of modern engineering that both impressed and intimidated him at the same time. Cook would later learn that taking the heads of your enemies was pretty much a regular custom in Maori culture, and that once the heads had been dried and baked, they were generally put on posts so they could be mocked and cursed (in a manner not dissimilar to the one I quoted above). Oh, and the Maori would eat the dead warriors' asses with sweet potatoes in an effort to gain the slain warrior’s strength Highlander-style.

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Sports fan said...

Quade Cooper appears to be to New Zealand rugby fans what Kevin Pietersen was to South African rugby fans: An arrogant young (incidentally white) man whose sin was not so much to go and play for the enemy, but to turn on the land of his birth and mock things his compatriots hold dear. I'm a South African who thought Cooper something of an a$$hole even though I didn't know he was a Maori.

5:30 am  
Anonymous James W said...

A lot of revisionist history going on here. Campese was vilified when he was active, and Weepu had to go through the media mocking his weight - he's not even in the current team.

The booing is 90% joking now. People are doing it because it's over the top and funny. You're over thinking this.

8:43 pm  

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