4 Dec 2019

Complaint over 'Jew' description of rugby player not upheld

2:04 pm on 4 December 2019

The broadcasting watchdog has not upheld a complaint against a description of a rugby player as a Jew for being unwilling to pay for his wedding.

Bryn Hall during the Crusaders training at Rugby Park, Christchurch.

Bryn Hall. Photo: John Davidson / Photosport

A complaint was made against Sky Sports for its June programme Kick Off.

The complainant noted Sky chose to broadcast the comment again after it was broadcast live on an earlier show.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority said the comment did not reach the threshold for regulatory intervention.

Its ruling said: "In this particular episode, Bryn Hall explains why he is giving a 'red card' to Jack Goodhue:

"I'm red-carding… Jack Goodhue for his mullet… the real reason why he's running a mullet at the moment is that he's engaged… doesn't want to pay for his wedding, so he's actually looking for Women's Day or Women's Weekly to try and get behind and pay for his wedding, so red card for being a Jew, Jack, so there you go mate."

Judge Bill Hastings said it viewed Mr Hall's comment to be ignorant and disrespectful.

"It is an example of casual anti-Semitism and such comments can contribute to the normalisation of racism. We understand that comments like this may be part of people's ordinary vernacular but that is unacceptable.

"However, overall, we do not consider that the comment contained the level of malice or nastiness required, nor did it amount to a sustained attack on a particular group as required, to find a breach of the discrimination and denigration standard and the threshold for our intervention has not been reached.

"We also recognise that the broadcaster has taken steps to prevent comments like this being broadcast in future."