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 aucklandista.com
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.