There is a lot in what you say in your last three paragraphs, Dave T, and I am happy to concede that.
However, I do not know the facts behind the media `frontage' of this matter so all I can rightly say is that Zak Hardaker has been perceived to be offensive while on camera, on two occasions.
Also that he admitted, after the first perceived offence, to having offended (though not intentionally) against any or all in our society whose sexual preference and ability to love, finds the object of its best fulfilment in a person or persons of the same sex.
That having offended Zak apologised, was punished, and of his own free will made further reparation by actively engaging in an opportunity to meet, learn about, understand and befriend a group of such people.
Homosexual people, they are called. That's the formal word we use to describe them in English if they are male - all of them- homosexual. Or if they are female - lesbian.
And yet, though I am not one of them and cannot know their personal truth, my own humanity suggests to me, that just one word to serve for all of each of two whole categories of humanity is surely a pitiful few. One word to cover the entire gamut of types, styles, personalities and preferences that word is assigned to encompass? The myriad modifications of traits and self-images that lie dormant, a potential in all human lives, until a moment may arise to trigger one change or a hundred others.
Pitifully inadequate! We are all of us potentially a great many shades of grey. And not only in our sexual preferences, in every facet of our wonderfully individual, growing, changing, flowering or sometimes sadly shrinking, withering human nature.
I therefore assume that Zak Hardaker too, is a growing, changing, flowering and yes, potentially a withering human nature. One who appears to be working on ways to contain and control, without entirely killing, the wild passion of youth that burns within him, unsuitably raw now that he is a man. More so, in a man with a talent for playing so rugged a game as Rugby League, in which one man may, on occasion, hurt another more than was required or intended. Until thud, it dumps him head first into trouble, this passion.
And no doubt it will again before he learns to channel it to his own best purpose.
But is he an evil young man? A bad one? A foolish one perhaps ..... but one deserving nothing but condemnation? I don't think so.
I don't believe that Zak Hardaker, or any of a hundred other young men just like him are any of those things. They are just young men born with a fierce nature and a fervent desire to win at their chosen game. There are lots of young men in the world like that. Some win through to become good, some good and dependable, and some go on to become very great men indeed. And sad though it is, some do fall by the wayside.
You are what you make of yourself. And although there are people to advise and guide along the way, the outcome is entirely in the hands of each young man.
So here we have Zak Hardaker - a semi-unbroken colt who is trying to make himself, unfortunate enough to be doing so with a camera pointing at him every time he trots into the ring. I bet Prince Harry could find a few words of advice to help guide Zak through that particular minefield. And a good few words of consolation too, I don't doubt.
Zak Hardaker is under the microscope over a perceived use of words, but there are shades of grey from black to white in everything that resides in the capability of man. Was man of the west right in 1945 to drop two atom bombs on man of Japan, killing millions of men, women and children, in order to shorten the duration and loss of life inhered in further years of global war?
Seems to me we should try to maintain a reasonable level of rationality in determining the potential world impact of one use or perceived use of just one word.
It was mouthed, some say. Some say it wasn't that word at all. And there is no proof either way that it was or wasn't. And anyway, although it is now deemed by majority consensus to be offensive, the matter of the word `poof' being mouthed by one young player to another, in one match of one minority sport (one that only exists in any sizeable form in a few east-coast cities of Australia, the North island of New Zealand, various parts of Oceania and the north of England), whilst absolutely (as you say, Dave T) our business here on the Totalrl.com forum, cannot in world terms be any more than just a ripple on the surface of a tea-cupful of water.
Meanwhile, right now there are some pretty big waves blowing up in the world outside.
- fieldofclothofgold likes this