Mike Hosking: Punishment against Sevu Reece needs to stop now

Author
Mike Hosking,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 18 July 2019, 1:41PM

Just when does the punishment end if you are Sevu Reece? What exactly is it we are wanting from him, or expecting him to do? Is the problem that he's too successful? Should people who, in some way shape or form end up involved in indiscretion, operate under a code where by the punishment of the judiciary, is only part one?

Part two is the lifelong penalty in which they're allowed to somehow repair their damage or put their issues behind them, but to only a limited point, and being an All Black is way too successful? 

We angst over the recidivism rate, we worry and debate the fact that so many who end up in jail, end up going back to jail. This is seen as a failure of the system. And yet when you have a Sevu Reece who aspires to better himself, we don’t want that either. Why not? Steve Hanson suffered the obligatory pile-on as well.

He made the simple statement that people need to face their wrongs and look to move on. And it isn't the All Blacks' way to simply penalise people forever. I would have thought that was a good, clean, clear simple piece of common sense most of us would have welcomed  and agreed with. He perhaps made the mistake of suggesting domestic violence isn't a gender thing.

If you listened to the comments the way they were intended, backed up of course by the fact he has seen this first hand so has an element of expertise in the area, then you would understand what he was trying to say. The fact he had to clarify them, was made up in part by the fact that a lot of people these days in sensitive matters don’t want to see anything with logic, they want to score points.

And to be fair, he might have been able to make the point with a touch more eloquence. But be that as it may, the fundamental driver here is that people like Reece should be seen as examples of what is possible if you want it to be. And the All Black culture is not about perfection, and nor has it ever been claimed it is. What it's about, is being a good person. About being more than just a rugby player.

It's about being an example, and is Reece not an example of a person who is trying to improve. To see his faults and fix them, to not repeat mistakes, to not be another recidivist. If we listened and acted on the advice of the angry and aggrieved, what would happen to the Reeces of this world? And why would we be remotely surprised it might not necessarily be good?

Both Hansen and Reece are trying to do the right thing. That’s to be encouraged, and supported because that’s the way forward and it’s a solution to a problem, or are we not really all that interested in solutions?  

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