Graham Lowe: 'Bro culture' call not racist

Roger Tuivasa Sheck, Sam Lisone and Shaun Johnson of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.
Roger Tuivasa Sheck, Sam Lisone and Shaun Johnson of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.

A deep-rooted "don't worry, be happy" attitude in the Warriors is what makes Graham Lowe very unhappy about the Auckland NRL club.

The league icon has scoffed at suggestions that a comment he made to an Australian newspaper had any racist undertones.

Lowe had told the Daily Telegraph the club was failing because of a "bro culture", a phrase which may have inadvertently played a race card which fell into the hands of those with bigoted views about the Warriors.

Warriors hit back at 'bro culture' claim

Interviewed by RadioSport's Martin Devlin, Lowe said his use of "bro culture" referred to an overall Warriors mentality.

"I'm not referring to Polynesian or Maori players...anyone who knows me knows better than that. Actually, I don't think there are enough Polynesian players," he said.

"It's a relaxed, don't worry, be happy culture - that's what I'm seeing. I don't see enough energy or concern.

"I can't remember what they look like after a win...but I look for devastation after a loss, not the odd raised eyebrow and hello towards opposition players. It's only a few years ago we saw they got an absolute hammering and were then seen with their arms around the opposition. That's a bro culture and isn't racist in any way. It doesn't matter who the player is.

"The Wests Tigers forwards rolled through the Warriors forwards (on Saturday), and not one single one tried to put a shot on them. They all said 'come this way'."

According to Oxford, "bro" was initially a term referring to African-American men, a derivation of "brother". (During the 1970s, brother became a term that African-American men used for their male friends). But use of the word shifted to a point where "bros" were predominantly white. In a more local context, the much-loved animated TV series bro'Town was set in New Zealand's Pacific Island community.

"Bro culture" tends to be a phrase with a meaning open to wide interpretation, including immature behaviour or attitudes.

When asked if his comment could be misconstrued as racist, Lowe said: "I don't accept that at all. There will be those around who think that way but I don't care less. Life is too short to worry about that."

Lowe believes new Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman can break the poor attitude, and said any player who did not respond to the State of Origin forward's demands should be shown the door.

But Lowe didn't appear to extend a huge vote of confidence towards Warriors coach Andrew McFadden.

"The alarm bells went off last year when they lost eight in a row. I never saw one single incident of a different game being tried. You've got to play a type of football that gives you a big chance of winning games," he said.

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