Thursday, 10 July 2008

Veitch's apology? FAIL

One News last night certainly didn’t avoid coverage of their own sports lad’s domestic violence admission. Their lengthy news story was punctuated by the declaration that “questions remain unanswered”, there were bizarre references to Tony Veitch’s employers (TVNZ) as if they bore no relationship to OneNews, and the tone of the reporter and presenter (both women) dealing with the matter was a million miles from the jovial blokey atmosphere that ordinarily infuses the ether whenever Veitch is in shot.

And then there was the apology itself. Repeatedly Veitch labeled his actions as inexcusable, but at one memorable point he said “no excuses (pause) except to say…”* and then he began on his long list of what else was going on at what he described as the lowest ebb of his life. Apart from the domestic violence that is. Domestic violence that he described, or should I say minimized, as “my frustration took over, I broke, I lashed out in anger.”**

Let me get this out; it’s good that he apologized and it’s great that he did so publicly. What would have been more helpful would be if he had not only said “no excuses” and admitted that he had a year of counselling after the event, but also if he had stated, from the pulpit that the media has given him, that it’s not ok, it’s never ok, and if you even find yourself thinking about doing this then you should get help. The bloke culture that Veitch has been a key part of for so long could do with the addition of someone who mans up and says there is no shame in getting help; the shame is in not getting help, the shame is in hitting.

The litany of not-excuses (working two seven-day a week jobs, taking medication for exhaustion, relationship had just ended, etc etc) undermined this. It spoke to the cave-dwelling ancestor part of our psyche that thinks that there is a magical mystical level of provocation that makes violence ok. Like the gay panic defence, provocation seems something of an Old Testament anachronism now, surely?

I don’t listen to Radio Sport and I’m not about to start. Somehow I suspect that the talkback callers will have much truck with the idea that Veitch isn’t entirely to blame for the violence he has now admitted, that there were other factors at play, that it was a one-off event, a moment of madness. That Veitch has learnt from this seems plain***. Whether his fans will remains to be seen.

Other bloggers writing about this:
A life of pie - Paul of The Fundy Post
It's not ok - Dancer of The Standard
Ugh. Just Ugh, Gluc - Joanna of
But He's Such a NICE Boy - Cactus Kate
Sports Scandal: you can bash if you have the cash - Lita of Bits on the Side

* This is paraphrased as I can't find the media statement for his apology online. I'm pretty sure I have the words bang-on, but cannot be 100% certain.
** This is not paraphrased but is exactly what he said, I typed it in as it was repeated on the news.
*** Although the lesson may be more about not getting caught than not hitting, sadly.


#13baby said...

At least this confession means he's going to see the inside of a jail cell soon... right? Or has he done some kind of nauseating bargain?

The ex-expat said...

The saddest thing about this case is that demonstrated isn't just 'Jack the muss' types who commit domestic violence, it is present in all sectors of society. It's just those men with money and power can use this to get away with their transgressions.

Anna McM said...

I have a great deal of respect for those men who front up about their own violence and apologise - the 'It's not OK' ad men are a case in point. I'm not convinced Tony Veitch is one such. He seems to be apologetic that he was outed. Or am I being too cynical? I haven't followed the whole thing too closely.

artandmylife said...

Veitch's excuses sickened me. I note that the "she probably provoked him" line has been trotted out as well. The Police need to act - but I bet the don't. I am so angry and disheartened - the ALAC ads, the english rugby "boys" now this. Women being blamed for mens actions and being palmed off. And worst of all feeling unable to make formal complaints. Are we really in the 21st century?

Lita said...

It was a total FAIL. Jeesh, he had over 2 years to write it, you'd have thought a few re-reads would make him realise the odd "but" and "except" could be editted out. It was like a creepy news reading, not to mention the bizarre TV1 coverage, where the poor TV1 newsy folk are banned from the canteen, loos and any other area where they may bump into their COLLEAGUES from TVNZ.

BTW - my post was called 'Sports Scandal: you can bash if you have the cash' (I don't want to be pedantic, but "you can bash if you have the case" is Tony's argument)

Ari said...

#13- the confession isn't enough to convict him on. His ex-partner would need to come forward, and she seems quite uninterested in doing so. Given that she's the one who suffered from this, I thoroughly support it being her decision as to whether he's learned enough from the incident or not- or just deciding whether she could bear a trial or not.

And yeah, I pretty much agree with everything all of you have said. His "this is inexcusable but here are my excuses" bit was ridiculous. It's obvious he doesn't think of himself as being to blame yet.

Julie said...

1. Apologies to Lita, twas a typo and is now fixed!

2. This "confession" isn't enough, imho. Juxtaposed with Derek Fox's situation (which I don't know much about yet) the key thing that stands out for me is that Fox "surrendered himself to authorities", whereas Veitch had a media conference. That difference speaks volumes to me.

Lita said...

No prob, thanks for the correction. And the great posts.