So if he’d said Gyppo would we have to hang him?

There are a million harmless ways to wind-up an opponent, but calling someone “gypsy boy” is not one of them. The word “boy” carries an extra hint of condescension, as if Lee has risen above his station in being there at all. Again, there is no real need to crucify Marler as a human being. The only requirement was to punish him and hammer home the point that demeaning people in this kind of way is dangerous and therefore unacceptable.

We know Lee took offence. We know Wales took offence, because Rob Howley, the assistant coach, said there “was no place in the game” for that kind of language. Jones and England must understand that an apology alone will not expunge an offence that has implications out there on the streets. The sporting role model argument has always been shot with flaws but you cannot have an England international deploying that kind of terminology.

Myself I’d run with the idea that propping is one of those areas of life where sticks and stones would be the appropriate stance to take.

50 thoughts on “So if he’d said Gyppo would we have to hang him?”

  1. It is a bit ‘if you’re complaining about, defeated the objective’. I mean, sport is about finding the toughest, smartest guys.

    In life, it’s reasonable to complain when someone calls you a nigger or a paki, but you have then surrendered some power to a higher authority. And that’s fine for lots of people. But you can’t then call yourself the toughest guy in the room.

  2. As a Welsh fan, I thought it was quite amusing. I would like to think Sampson-Lee saw it merely as any other insult and rose to the bait, as props are supposed to do. I’d like to think he wasn’t offended by it, at any rate. Anyway, the two of them got on with the game and propped against each other without further incident for the next hour, so what the hell is the problem?

  3. One wonders how long this artificial construct that is modern society can endure? It’s so far divorced from ordinary human emotions, feelings and reactions.

    Calling a brick shitehouse of a bloke a gypsy boy is a heinous thought crime. Statues are weapons used to mentally injure poor oppressed innocents. But hey, segregated Islamic meetings? It’s the way forward man!

  4. If they were worried about the effect it would have “out there on the streets”, why the bloody hell are they talking about it? I couldn’t hear it on the replay the next day when the BBC had primed me to listen out for it, so I’m damn sure the number of people who heard it in the first place is approahing zero.

  5. If they were worried about the effect it would have “out there on the streets”, why the bloody hell are they talking about it?

    I suspect it’s being blown up out of all proportion deliberately to destabilise Marler next time England play Wales. He’ll have to be on his best behaviour as all cameras and microphones will be on him for a repeat performance. So with all that in the back (or front) of his mind he won’t have his full attention on destroying the pack in front of him.

    So basically, game playing by Gatland.

  6. Would any of us be okay with someone calling Itoje, Watson or Joseph the N-word and consider it just wind-up banter?

    I think not. So Marler was guilty of something similar and its not really on.

    However, I will admit I am quite confused that I myself and the authorities want to punish racial slurs but are quite happy not punishing someone insulting your dead wife, character, children or calling you a see you next Tuesday.

    Perhaps I do buy into the idea that racism is somehow a higher sin, but calling someone anything else is fair game. Strange.

  7. Is ‘Gypsy’ perjorative? ‘Gypsy Rose Lee’ was very popular. To equate it with the word ‘nigger’ sounds a bit hystrionic tbh.

    Would he be sanctioned for calling him ‘welsh boy’ or ‘Taff’ ?

  8. Actually Rob Harris there are one or two on this log who resent not being able to walk the streets calling people Nigger and Paki. Our resident Thick.Racist.Prick will be along soon to explain.

  9. Rob Harries,

    Yes. Although, calling someone that isn’t exactly clever. Isn’t going to work. We look down on people using such an insult for being less advanced than us.

    People need to get over the ‘gypo’ insult. Irish gypsies have had their DNA tested and it’s indistinguishable from Irish DNA. ‘Gypo’ is about being a knuckle-dragging, inbred scumbag.

  10. Unbelievable, an on the edge violent rugby prop with a thick neck and a thin skin. A Gypsy boy who takes offence at being called a Gypsy boy. What a world we now live in.

  11. Anon
    “Irish gypsies have had their DNA tested and it’s indistinguishable from Irish DNA. ‘Gypo’ is about being a knuckle-dragging, inbred scumbag.”

    Two notes :-
    The term de jour is “traveller” not Irish gypsy and they are not a separate race, but a community.

  12. @BiW

    ‘So basically, game playing by Gatland.’

    Actually, Gatland has lamented the fact that they couldn’t have sorted it out with a quick one two, if it needed sorting at all, as happened in ‘the old days’.

    It’s not nice to insult people, but I don’t think it’s a matter for the 6N diciplinary people, though once Marler gets his 2-4 wks for striking an opponent he’ll get another dose for this I expect.

  13. I was brought up to believe didicoy was the greater insult, implying somebody not good enough to be a gypo. A half breed gypo perhaps. I’ve no idea why, the old man not being around anymore to ask.

  14. I have to say, as TomJ said, that I had to whack my telly volume up to 100 to hear it, and even then it was very unclear.

    And when Inverdale first alerted us to what we were about to hear, I wasn’t even sure who was calling who a gypsy. Marler looks the part to me.

    Yes, it’s not pleaant, no a gentleman would not do it, but really, we do have more significant things to worry about in our society than childish name calling.

  15. A Gypsy boy who takes offence at being called a Gypsy boy.

    Did he, though? He reacted on the pitch to his opposite number calling him “Gypsy Boy”, but I’m not convinced he took offence. Had Marler called him “Fatty Boy” the reaction would have been the same I suspect.

  16. Howley saying it has no part in the game is not “taking offence”, let alone ‘Wales’ taking offence. SJ Warriors exaggerating an issue out if all proportion is not “Wales taking offence”.

    Still, you have to wonder at the brains of someone to say that. Oh wait – he’s a prop. Perhaps he was exhausted and demoralised at having to do Dan Cole’s scrummaging work in addition to his own.

  17. Oi, Rob, no. The front row union is the intellectual powerhouse of any given side. It’s why we drink so much beer after a game; you need 5 pints inside you before the half-backs start making sense…

  18. An inaudible insult from one prop to another is pretty low on the scale isn’t it? One for the ref, many of whom have a nice line in embarrassing put-downs for exactly this sort of thing.
    Add a swift, and brief, apology from Marler, and job done.

    It’s stupid penalties that yank my crank, and I’d love to see a coach subbing someone after 15 minutes to make the point. And scrum-halfs who won’t put the ball in.

    Trigger warning: the faint-of-heart should certainly avoid village cricket.

  19. From the BBC:

    Lee added: “I personally believe the comments to have been intended as banter and accepted Joe’s apology.”

    So here we have the two players involved, plus the Wales coach, saying they don’t see it as a big deal whatsoever, and a veritable army or people online who are not involved in any capacity saying they jolly well ought to. This is Jack Straw’s retarded definition of a racist incident rearing its head, isn’t it?

  20. Village cricket is generally fairly abuse free. It is when you get to serious club cricket that the real and sustained abuse begins. It’s appalling. I’m surprised you don’t read more news reports about punch ups.

    This has been my experience anyway.

  21. Gatland has now apologised for saying it wasn’t a big deal. If they can pressure a guy like that, who knows about actual pain and the delivery thereof, and who is wealthy by NZ standards, and could retire tomorrow, into taking this sort of thing seriously – by which I mean, beyond ‘yes it’s not very nice, he shouldn’t do it’ – then there’s not much hope. Did the Welsh RFU tell him he’d be fired if he didn’t change his tune? Is it really that deperate?

  22. what a lot of sensitive flowers you all have become.
    No wonder the world is streaming towards the UK to take over your land and likely your women.
    Half of London is already here and Calaise waits.

  23. Well, at least he didn’t call him a “fucking pikey”. “Gypsy boy” sounds almost quaint and old fashioned.

  24. Rob,
    Ah, well i gave my best years to child-rearing and blah blah.

    I only play cricket now to, a) get out of the house, and, b) continue my researches into self-sledging. It’s actually quite effective.

  25. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “Actually Rob Harris there are one or two on this log who resent not being able to walk the streets calling people Nigger and Paki. Our resident Thick.Racist.Prick will be along soon to explain.”

    I have never seen anyone here regret not being able to call other people rude words. Words you are awfully fond of using.

    I have seen people point out the obvious fact that trying to stop people being rude to each other is an insane use of police time when they have better things to do. And that a campaign against one thing the Left hates rapidly becomes a campaign against everything the Left hates. So anti-racism has morphed into anti-conservatism. As we see with you every day. You seem to think that a sensible, moderate, factually accurate historical opinion, such as the fact the British Empire was the best thing that ever happened to this planet, should be a crime.

    Or any type of scientific result you do not like. Such as the fact that people of African origin consistently test a standard deviation lower in IQ tests than White people.

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    Jack C – “Trigger warning: the faint-of-heart should certainly avoid village cricket.”

    I expect few people say rude words to the bowler. He will be, after all, throwing a moderately heavy object at some speed in your general direction fairly soon. The wicket keeper is more likely to make a comment about the popularity of the batter’s wife.

    Which is kind of the point of rugby. You are very brave if you make any sort of comment about another player at all. In a fairly short period of time you are likely to find him throwing you to the ground and then him and six of his mates sitting on top of you. A lot of things can happen in scrums and mauls. Best to be on good terms with everyone.

  27. Don’t forget, SMFS, that White people don’t come top.

    Not the done thing now, or even desirable, but the Empire did have a policy of, and success with, matching types to occupations. Which helps to explain why my current colleagues in Canada are an Indian from Guyana, a Maltese, and a number of Indians and Pakistanis (actually Canadians now, and they act like it).

    The Empire may be no more in theory, but it lives on in practice.

  28. Why didn’t the lordy-o stick a bullet-o between the eyes-o of the knuckle-dragging, scumbag, raggle-taggle gypsy-o? No jury in the land would convict.

  29. So Much For Subtlety

    DocBud – “Why didn’t the lordy-o stick a bullet-o between the eyes-o of the knuckle-dragging, scumbag, raggle-taggle gypsy-o? No jury in the land would convict.”

    Honour killings are only defensible when done by a Third World immigrant. Someone from Pakistan for instance. Would an Irish lord count?

  30. Tim is right, if the two players, including the “gypsy” are quite happy with their resolution of it it’s nobodies business but theirs.

  31. Intractable Potsherd

    SMFS – I may have missed something here: when did anyone defend honour-killing by anyone? (Except by a defence lawyer, which is what they are paid for, of course.)

  32. And, like it or not, it does seem the Empire was right about who should run Malaysia…

    The Malays? Who are utterly reliant on the ethnic Chinese doing everything, and add no value whatsoever?

  33. Tim, exactly.my point.

    British Malaya was run by Chinese and Indians. The Malays did a bit of fishing.

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