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Tacklenappy tackles football's racism row and vaccination

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It’s not often that anyone at Tacklenappy.com looks closely at current affairs we are usually too busy watching the footy but this week a couple of extraordinary events got me thinking.

Firstly football, apart from the Melbourne player kicking the ball in the head of the other Melbourne player (how bad are we going?), there was the racist name calling from the Collingwood supporter. Sadly this was a 13 year old who called Adam Goodes an Ape. To me this is a ridiculous and abhorrent thing to do on so many levels, Adam Goodes is such a role model for footballers, and he treats people with respect and deserves the same.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it was compounded by the media circus that followed, somehow making the young lady an instant celebrity. I hope that her 1 minute of fame is fleeting, both for the poor behaviour it may encourage from attention seekers and importantly so she can reflect and learn about what she did wrong. I think this cemented in my mind how important my behaviour is at the football. I have always said footballers must try and be fantastic role models for our kids but in fact what’s more important is being a great role model for your own kids.

Then later that weekend I was moved, no rocked when I saw the plight of the little baby affected by whooping cough and the struggle the poor little bub had to breathe.

The breathing machine and all the tubes took me back to those horrifying last days of my dad’s battle with lung cancer. My stomach churned and I felt sweaty and nauseous. My feelings were compounded by the fact that I have a 10 month old and a strange phenomenon effecting parents is this stress response caused when you see any kid sick or hurting. I wonder if it’s just me, I suspect not.

I shuddered when the doctor explained that sometimes babies cough so hard that they break ribs and in extreme cases bleed in their eyes. I grabbed the remote took a deep breath and turned off the TV.

The show was all about vaccination and it was clear from the first 5 minutes that it wasn’t going to hold back either way. To be honest I have never thought that much about vaccination, it’s something I have done and have had done to my children. I have always had the information about the pros and cons sitting somewhere in my brain but I have never seen what one of these diseases can do to a baby. It’s hard to argue against vaccination. I think that image of the baby will long remain at the front of my mind every time a vaccination is due.

We are really interested in your thoughts on both of these issues?

4 comments

  • Comment Link Unit Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:33 posted by Unit

    A 13 yo old girl in the heat of the moment, surrounded by passionate football supporters called across the fence to Adam Goodes and called him an 'Ape'. Adam Goodes over reacted, simple as that! Once he pointed out the young girl and urged the security guards to remove her he had over stepped the mark. If we all stood back and looked at the situation with a clear head, not one that is influenced by what politicians or the media fill our minds with we would see that this poor girl who was definitely not chasing her 1 min of fame called him an 'Ape' because he is a big framed hairy man! The footy show berates Jason Dunstall as being an 'Ape' why?...because he is big and hairy! I am not sitting here saying that it is right to call anyone names that may be derogatory or make them feel inferior but this poor 13yo girl who had her face plastered all over the TV, may have seen him as only an 'ape'as the footy show promotes and not a racial slur on his skin colour! We live in a society that jumps to conclusions and to tarnish her with a 'racist' branding is wrong.

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  • Comment Link rory Tuesday, 28 May 2013 23:48 posted by rory

    I too couldn't help but wonder if the ape comment was taken out of context but only the 13 year old knows that for sure. Goodsy is one of my favorite players and I know that when you are full of emotion and adrenalin on the field things hit a lot harder. Maybe we need to focus more on things like racism in the same way we attack smoking. Because honestly there is still a lot of it out there and maybe that's what hit home to him so much. When a 13 year old is saying it - it shows the victim how prevalent it still is.

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  • Comment Link Martine@themodernparent.net Tuesday, 28 May 2013 22:55 posted by Martine@themodernparent.net

    I had a bit of a moment of frustration Sunday morning reading the Sunday papers and so posted this on my personal facebook page regarding the 'footy racism' incident. It got an overwhelming lot of support from others. it was this...Racism must not be tolerated. I am sure we all agree on that by now. However when a 13 year old girl is detained & interrogated for 2 hours without access to her parents for the use of one word, then my fears for her are greater than for anyone else. Whilst the word may have racist connotations this was not the intent. (I cannot tell you some of the derogatory names Cameron Ling has been called with reference to his looks...and no repercussions) Yes this was obviously extremely hurtful to Goodes, but to describe this as close to the lowest point in your career and to ask for a child to be forcibly removed... I am only glad Goodes seems to have since realised the disproportionate handing out of blame. For those of us with 13 year old children I cannot imagine how frightening that must have been as well as the subsequent media circus. Ok rant over."......and since then I asked my own 13 year old about the word 'ape' and what connotations it had to him, and 'Aborigine' wasnt one of them. Again not saying it isn't derogatory but please, lets keep things in perspective, there are far better ways to educate people than that. And vaccinating...well thanks for the reminder to get the 18 month old ones done that are a little late! :)

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  • Comment Link Evil Genius Mum Tuesday, 28 May 2013 22:21 posted by Evil Genius Mum

    Great opportunity to discuss the concept of social responsibility - both in the emotional effects of racism, and the personal effects of vaccination.

    I often hear a lot of people saying "keep your kids away from the tv" (particularly in regards to the news). But both of these scenarios - the racism and the vaccination - are discussions that SHOULD be encouraged with our kids.

    It's easy to shy away from them, to turn the tv off. It is harder to sit down and talk out the details with the kids and try to learn from it all together.

    Obviously some age groups are easier to talk about it than others (in theory...) but our 4 and almost-7 year olds benefited from the discussion. No matter how you feel about either topic, your views are still going to impact on your spawnlings, more than the media will.

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