Award-winning Australian journalist, publisher and editor of New Matilda Chris Graham despite being an Aussie didn’t side with his fellow countrymen who got involved in a controversial brawl happened in the Philippine Arena against Gilas Pilipinas last week.
In latest article in newmatilda.com which all about the brawl between the basketball players of two countries, Graham said that the story of the Australian team that they were the victims during the brawl is “b*llsh*t.”
“The commentary in Australia is overwhelmingly that we were the victims in the fracas. I don’t think it’s stretching the imagination to think that the rest of the world won’t be so sympathetic, in large part because there’s these things called ‘television cameras’, ‘slow motion replay’ and ‘simple common sense’, which, when applied, will leave the viewer in no real doubt about who the bad guys are,” Graham said.
“Long story short, it’s us,” he added.
After sharing the footage of the basketball brawl between PH and AUS, he addressed the other Australians that if they were not convinced that the basketball representatives of their country were not wrong in what they did, they might be “part of a very long sporting tradition” of their country of “accepting exceptionally bad behavior”.
He noted that one of the Australian players, Daniel Kickert, quickly fled the court after unleashing his flying elbow to his Filipino opponent during the match.
“After assaulting at least two other Filipino players, and then turning and running as he’s chased across the court, Kickert manages to escape to the safety of some officials, but not before turning and dancing and gesturing at the Filipino players to come and have another go.” he said
Graham believes that what Kickert did is considered as an criminal assault.
He also noticed the Australian commentator, only focusing their eyes on the Filipino players while they’re not pointing out the bad behaviors of their basketball representatives.
“The ‘cheap’ play from the Filipino was a pretty common offensive foul on a player, Chris Goulding, who was shaping up, and who was preparing to make contact. At 5:50, even the commentators note Gouding’s reaction was exaggerated, and that what the Filipino player actually did was “chesting”. Kickert’s strike, by contrast, was a blindside elbow to the jaw of a player who wasn’t expecting it.” Graham said.
“And yet, the commentators continued: “[A Filipino] player should be fined for throwing such a soft punch anyway.” he added.
However, as a human rights advocate, Graham said that the “bad sporting behavior” of the Australians is the least of their problems.
“But then, we jail and torture children on faraway islands and demonise some of the nation’s poorest people. I guess being bad sports is the least of our problems, but maybe it’s part of the key to a more honest assessment of our real national character.” he said.
Until today, basketball fans are still debating on who’s the team who really started the brawl. Even some Filipinos sided with the Australians, saying that members of Gilas Pilipinas should became humble despite the alleged trash talk that they received from the Boomers.