Collingwood has a sexism issue right at the top

AT A TIME like this, when sexists rise like vermin to the surface, we need writers like the late Sam de Brito, a man who died tragically young.

I still remember how De Brito gave it to Collingwood president Eddie McGuire with both barrels in 2013 after the latter had made his infamous King Kong remarks about the Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes.

McGuire’s ugliness surfaces periodically, and he was at his brilliant best on the birthday of the British monarch, with atrocious comments about Caroline Wilson, the chief AFL writer for Fairfax Media.

McGuire was joined by others from the blokey football crowd, with Danny Frawley, a former coach of senior AFL club Richmond, no less, and the president of the North Melbourne AFL club, James Brayshaw, chiming in. Also adding his two cents was Wayne Carey, probably the greatest AFL player ever but a seriously flawed human being.

The comments are indicative of the insecurity felt among males who feel challenged when a woman excels in a field which they have traditionally controlled.

McGuire and his buddies must be feeling half-castrated now that the AFL has done the long overdue thing and instituted a women’s league which will start from 2017.

But how many people who matter will stand up and call McGuire for what he is — a closet racist, a closet sexist, a man who has serious doubts abouts his masculinity, a man who cannot bear to live in a democracy where other people — like Wilson, for example — have opinions that differ with his?

Wilson is the best AFL writer in the country, bar none. She calls it as she sees it, is not beholden to man or beast, and McGuire, who likes the fawning kind of journalist, cannot stand her kind.

If Wilson had been a man, it is unlikely that McGuire would be so cavalier. No, he would be his loathful self, for the simple reason that he would fear a boot in the groin.

There is a sickness in Australian society and McGuire is one of the symbols of this disease. It is a disease called sexism, the good old-fashioned variety, where men join hands to keep women down for fear that they will lose control.

De Brito had it down pat after McGuire’s racist outburst: “I’ll take a guess at why your casual-Eddie-McGuire-type-racism persists in this country – because you don’t get killed for it and you certainly don’t get punished if you’re rich and white,” he wrote.

“You give a press conference. You get suspended pending an internal enquiry. You move on in a week or two and things go on as they always have.”

Someone should give McGuire a dose of his own medicine but I doubt that anyone will. Australia is far too male-dominated to knock down one of its tall poppies.

After nine years, Wayne Barnes still cannot tell a forward pass

BRITISH rugby referee Wayne Barnes is well known as the man who helped France defeat the All Blacks in the quarter-final of the 2007 World Cup, failing to spot a blatant forward pass that led to a French try.

France won that game 20-18, a match that was remarkable also for the fact that Barnes did not find a single infringement by the French in the second half worthy of a penalty.

In the World Cup final of 2015, Barnes was a linesman and failed to see that a pass from New Zealand winger Nehe Milner-Skudder to flanker Jerome Kaino was miles off the horizontal; New Zealand benefitted by three points as a result of a penalty shortly thereafter. And when Wales played South Africa in the pool games of that same World Cup, Barnes could not spot a conversion that would have given Wales victory.

On Saturday night, in Auckland, Barnes showed that he still does not know how to judge a forward pass.

Eight minutes from the close of the first New Zealand-Wales Test, with the hosts ahead 32-21, standoff Aaron Cruden threw a clever dummy, made his way through a few Welsh players and then passed to substitute scrum-half T.J. Perenara who ran in to score close to the posts.

Cruden’s pass was kosher; the International Rugby Board rules clearly say that if a player’s hands are pointed away from the horizontal, then the pass is fine, even if the ball does go forward. This rule is put in place because the ball may float forwards due to a wind factor.

Barnes asked the television match official to check a replay and see if the pass was forward. When the TMO, Australia’s George Ayoub, advised Barnes that the pass was fine, Barnes called for another viewing of the action on the big screen.

Ayoub than repeated his verdict: you can award the try. But Barnes chose to overrule Ayoub and disallowed the try, claiming that the pass from Cruden to Perenara was forward.

In the scheme of things, it didn’t really matter because the All Blacks would have won anyway – even if they had not scored a last-minute try through substitute hooker Nathan Harris which made the final score 39-21.

It could have, however, caused some anxiety if a try by Welsh number eight Toby Faletau, soon after Barnes’ crazy decision, had been allowed. Faletau was rightly adjudged to be ahead of a kicker when he chased down the ball and scored. The try was, thus, disallowed.

The question that should be raised is: what is Barnes still doing officiating international rugby matches? He should be sacked right away.