Paul Henry: Losi Filipo case proves privilege, not race, is the heart of our justice problem

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Paul Henry weighed in on the case of Losi Filipo this morning. The following article is an edited extract of Paul’s reaction to a statement from New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew.

The Losi Filipo yarn is the big story around the country today, just as the Delegat story was a big yarn for days and days.

This is not dissimilar to the Delegat story. In fact, do you know what this proves? It proves that I was right during the Delegat story.

It didn't have anything to do with the fact that he was young and white. It had everything to do with the fact he was rich. And the case of Losi Filipo has nothing to do with his nationality either.

This isn't a racist issue at all. He gets away with it because he is rich. Not rich in terms of money, but rich in terms of friends. He's got the right people to speak for him so he can queer justice and justice, make no mistake, has been queered in New Zealand yet again.

When the Chiefs thing blew up and we wanted to get Steve Tew on the show, and then today we wanted to get Steve Tew again. I don't know why he can't come on, he might have a genuine reason, but he sent the following statement.

"Losi Filipo has been through the judicial process and it is not for us to comment on how he has been treated. That is a matter for the police and the courts."

Wrong. Steve, it is a matter for them, but he is one of your people, so it is for you to comment on.

"New Zealand Rugby does not condone Losi’s actions and now that he has left school and is in the Wellington Lions environment he is getting the support he needs to make better decisions."

Wrong again, Steve. You do condone it, because he's now in the Lions. Two sentences Steve and you are wrong on both.

You go on to say: "We do not tolerate any behaviour by players that disrespects women or anyone for that matter."

Wrong. He became a player after you knew he had disrespected women and other people in a very, very violent way. Anyway, I'm trying not to interrupt you.

 "We believe young men, like Losi, are better off with rugby in their lives." Could be right there, Steve.

"Rugby provides a positive environment that helps equip players to manage the challenges they will face in life during and beyond their playing days.” You could be right there, too.

"We know we don’t always get it right.” Spot on.

"Which is why we are reviewing how we can improve the way we educate our players. We want our game to reflect the values of our society."

Really?

"And to be a game that welcomes everyone."

Well clearly you want a game that welcomes everyone, irrespective of the way they conduct themselves.  

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