Tony Veitch: Sexism in NZ sporting media alive and well

TVNZ's coverage of Lydia Ko's top-three finish at the US Open this week was shabby. Photo / AP
TVNZ's coverage of Lydia Ko's top-three finish at the US Open this week was shabby. Photo / AP

TVNZ confirmed to me this week that sexism in New Zealand's sporting media is still alive and well. Here's the deal: Lydia Ko finishes third at the US Open - sure, she made some un-Lydia-like mistakes on the back nine - yet on the TVNZ sports news that night sat behind football, Andy Murray and the Blacks Caps checking into an airport. Really? The Black Caps leaving for South Africa is rated a bigger story than a top-three finish in a major? Maybe it goes back to a text I read on Radio Sport this week that summed up the lack of appreciation for Ko's achievements. It read: "What has she actually done for the profile of world golf?" Judging by TVNZ's attitude, not much.

The Eels have become quite the soap opera, even by rugby league's lofty standards. But the story that struck me most was about players getting delivered paper bags full of cash at a Sydney car park. It took me back to the Super League war of 1996. Back then, players could basically demand what they wanted. They would walk into the headquarters of News Corporation and walk out with up to $50,000 in cash, for simply signing with Super League.

That figure varied depending on which club they played for. The Bulldogs, for example, got the maximum, which led one high-profile player to trot off down to Sydney's Star City casino and blow the lot in one afternoon. Maybe the good old days and the present are not that far apart.

Let me put my Pokemon cards on the table. Never played it, don't get it and certainly can't understand the worldwide obsession with it, but I'm old and just not that cool. But it was 'devastating' to hear from Highlanders and All Blacks loosie Elliott Dixon that a Pokemon hunt became part of their captain's run on Friday. As Dixon explains: "Some of the boys have picked it up. They were wandering around the stadium trying to catch an 'eradicate'". Grown, hard-core All Blacks playing Pokemon is just wrong!

It's been quite a journey for boxer Joseph Parker, who admitted to me this week it's been quite a transformation for the lad from Mangere who shared clothes with his siblings to becoming a clothing ambassador. In his words, if he looks sharp and feels sharp, he will fight sharp. Nobody knows if Joe will become a world champion - that destiny is his - but his popularity is getting up there with the likes of the All Blacks. I do events for Barkers, who also sponsor the All Blacks, and the turnout for Joe was just as big. Good things do happen to nice guys.

What I've found really fascinating in the past few weeks chatting with our main Olympic medal hopes is the stark contrasts between what drives them to Olympic glory. Eric Murray likes to "destroy" his opposition in every way imaginable and Valerie Adams is all about setting goals, winning gold and creating history. In contrast, Lisa Carrington says gold is not even in her top five or six. For her, it's about bettering herself as a person and athlete. When asked if she would rather take silver racing at her best or gold without performing at her best, the answer was silver. Fascinating.

Catch Tony's show Veitch on Sport every Saturday and Sunday from midday on Newstalk ZB. If you have a story, get in touch via his Facebook page VeitchyonSport.

- Herald on Sunday

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