Opinion: Enough toilet tryst mania

By Katie Shevlin

2 comments
All Black Aaron Smith has been vilified for his brief toilet tryst.
All Black Aaron Smith has been vilified for his brief toilet tryst.

I can't help but feel a bit sorry for Aaron Smith.

The country's media was all over Smith's toilet "romance" last week. The type of indiscretion that should be dealt with in private has been made very public.

I personally find the interest the nation has in Smith's antics a little bit nauseating. Stories like this wouldn't be plastered everywhere unless there was a public appetite for them, and it seems we are starving. We have picked at every detail of Smith's affair like vultures over a carcass. And we are quick to ravage celebrities for their mistakes. Smith made a mistake, yes. But it's a mistake that I'm sure many other 27-year-olds have made.

The difference is that Smith happens to be a member of one of the most famous sporting teams in the world. In the moralising that inevitably followed Smith's actions, many people have said that, as a sports star that young people look up to, he should have behaved better. Can we really expect a person to be a role model just because they are in the public eye?

It's entirely unhealthy to put celebrities on a pedestal. Relationships run into obstacles no matter who you are or what you do for a job. So a young man gave into temptation - are we really that surprised?

The outrage this story caused has lead me to conclude that hardly anyone else in the country has cheated on their partner before.

In order to claw back some perspective I want to draw attention to other, far more interesting and significant things that were happening in the world while the Southern Hemisphere was debating whether an airport toilet counts as a public place.

The Colombian people voted to reject the peace treaty between the Government and the Farc guerilla group. A Chinese Government investigation revealed that 80 per cent of data used in clinical trials of pharmaceuticals is fabricated. A man raised more than $250,000 to sue politicians who lied about Brexit during the EU referendum campaign.

I wonder how many people missed these stories in favour of something that, quite simply, isn't any of our business.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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