Facts and truth.
The two most fearful words facing every sports organisation in this country, i.e. trying to prevent the pesky media finding the former and exposing the latter.
After 21 years in this business, the only thing I know is that the divide between us on the media side and those from the fish-head department only grows deeper.
There are two stories in today’s sports news which provide great current examples.
The first being Black Caps coach Gary Stead and his “pre-planned” vacation.“ He was always going to take a refresher break at this time” says NZC.
Really? And it just happens to coincide with the biggest crisis facing the team since Ross Taylor was backstabbed for the captaincy?
Back then NZC told us they’d fully discussed the situation with Ross before dumping him & appointing Brendan.
Subsequent investigation eventually led to Chairman Moller having to publicly apologise to Ross & his family for what in effect was a blatant lie. A PR fudge trying to cover their own butts that backfired in the most spectacular way.
No-one, and that is not a single soul, believes Stead’s holiday was “always part of the plan”.
Why didn’t he take his “refresher break” at the end of the Ozzie debacle and before India arrived? And why wait to announce it til the day after the 5-0 T20 thrashing and 2 days before the first 1-dayer?
The only believable reason is because in fact it was very UNPLANNED.
Story #2 involves Reiko Ioane and his fractured hand. Did this happen on the field vs the Chiefs or was it another after-match incident where “hi-jinks got out of control” just like 2 years ago when his black eye put him out of the All Blacks?
The problem these sports bodies have is their history of cover-ups. So when something genuine happens the first reaction is are we being told what really happened or is it like the last time when they said “this” when in fact it was “that”?
Now I don’t know whether either of these stories is true. And well they might be. But without full and frank honesty, without the ability or opportunity to question those involved, it’s only natural to be sceptical.
The boy has cried wolf too often in NZ sport for us to swallow these PR releases without asking questions.
As long as there is a continued lack of information and explanation, there will always be disbelief and speculation.