Yesterday the story about Jerome Kaino’s alleged affair broke and he went home to pick up the pieces. That followed a few Aaron Smith stories during the week. And they follow on from various exposures of NZ Rugby misogyny during 2016.
And the chances are there will be more of these in the weeks ahead. Like when the Tiger Woods story broke, the floodgates opened.
But the Kaino story was not like the one before, and definitely not like the one before that which, in turn, was quite different from the one before that
The danger here is that all these events, all involving females, are lumped into one bucket signifying a problem when there are so many nuances that need to be taken into account. And when you equate two consenting adults having a casual relationship with a gender problem in a sport then you lose the important argument and discussion.
2016 resulted in a couple of events that at last resulted in New Zealand Rugby agreeing there was an issue in the way women were treated.
The big one was the Strippergate Chiefs carry-on. The events of the day were bad enough, but the way the CEO and the primary sponsor carried on afterwards just enforced there was an issue.
Discrediting the evidence of a stripper based on her occupation. Seriously, this was 2016, and it was important to call it out.
Then there was the Losi Filipo case, and its initial casual handing from Wellington Rugby.
These indicated a systematic issue that has been around for decades. They are the tip of the iceberg and need attention. Not a short-term outrage, but a long term programme to modernise the sport.
Comparing Smith and Kaino is also wrong on a couple of levels. The former was hard done by from some sanctimonious curtain twitchers apparently concerned about the integrity of their Weet Bix ambassadors at Christchurch airport last year.
But his subsequent response as exposed last week was pretty icky. He just cared about Aaron Smith really. Although he didn’t commit perjury as such he sure tried it on pretty hard; the Sawn AfterDavided thing adding some comedy interest.
The key part of that story was the line “[NZR] is a really big organisation with a lot of power but they’re not about doing what’s right… if they can cover this up, they will” Whether or not that was a fair claim or not will remain unknown, but that was the story in itself.
The toilet stuff also happened when in team Number Ones; from all accounts there was none of that with Kaino.
Finally, the ex-model alleged to have been involved with Jerome Kaino claims to not have known he was married with children. Anyone with 10 seconds access to the internet could have determined the marital status of an All Black very easily.
That in itself puts a question-mark over her motives and credibility. The Revenge Dish served cold thing should not meddle in a wider, more important argument.