09 August 2012

Russell Barwick has no plans for an Irish holiday anytime soon

The Irish Independent reports that a "top" Australian sports pundit has sparked outrage by calling Ireland a joke for not teaming up with Britain in the Olympics.

Commentator Russell Barwick provoked an incredulous reaction when he compared Ireland not flying the flag for Britain to Tasmanian athletes not performing for Australia. The ESPN star fronts the hugely popular and irreverent 'Pardon the Interruption' show. He went on to say Irish athletes going for gold for their country was similar to a Hawaiian surfer claiming he wasn't from the United States.

He said: "It's a whole Irish joke, the whole thing. It just makes no sense. "We, the rest of the world, can't understand. It's like a Hawaiian surfer not claiming that he surfs for the USA. "It's not like Tasmanians say they don't want to represent Australia. You're all part of the one mix master." He said: "I understand the history of Irish politics. Well. . . I don't understand the history of Irish politics." He then told his baffled British co-presenter that half of Ireland was part of Great Britain.

Bariwck's comments caused a storm of outrage on Twitter, prompting an apology. "Ok a million apologies to those I offended. . . My initial question was 'Why does Ireland compete together in rugby but not at Olympics?' “ I found out myself and sorry again for offence as none was intended ? God I hope Katie Taylor wins!!”

But the commentator got such a stream of objections from Irish people that he blocked his Twitter account yesterday evening.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph has aplogises for calling Katie Taylor British. After a storm on Twitter the newspaper tweeted: “We’re sorry for mistakenly describing the fantastic boxer Katie Taylor as British in our London 2012 section today. She is Irish, of course.”

Oh dear!


Francis Sedgemore said...

Oh dear, the Aussies do seem to be in a collective grump right now. Quite ironic, really, seeing as other countries have copied the Australian sports development model, and are reaping the benefits while Australia itself is in the Olympic doldrums.

Still, though, Anna Meares can carry her head high. She plays it a bit rough at times, but track cycling is a tough sport, and certainly not for the feint-hearted.

jams o donnell said...

Things have gotten better in the last few days but Australia had a lousy start to the games gold-wise.

Fair play to Meares. While a Pendleton victory would have been great it was not to be. Track cycling is very exciting to watch (points race aside!)

Anonymous said...

Just the sort of thing the Irish love eh? A bit like when we Scots get told we are part of England. I especially like this quote exemplifying media professionals at their best: "I understand the history of Irish politics. Well. . . I don't understand the history of Irish politics."

Well Shut Up about it then mate, may I gently suggest.

jams o donnell said...

There are times to shut up eh?

Sean Jeating said...

Aren't we all Africans?
In other words: ... part of Omnium?

jams o donnell said...

At the end of the day that is true!

Bryan said...

It is easier to understand when you remember that Oz is the birth place of Australopithecus rupertus, and Murdoch has been responsible for many of the current 'stars' from Australia who get hired by other media conglomerates.

There are a lot of Republicans in the US who don't think Hawaii is part of the country. Mitt the Twit thinks England is the only thing in the United Kingdom, and Anglo-Saxons are still in charge.

jams o donnell said...

Ach that's true. Calling the UK England really does rankle here

Anonymous said...

Actually your comment on mitt is bullshit. You made that up.