HERSCHELLE Gibbs and Kevin Pietersen shrug off Joss Buttler’s expletive-laden rant at Vernon Philander in the recent Cape Town test as typical of what ‘happens on the field most of the time’ (Witness, January 9). I can well believe it, having given up a long involvement in cricket umpiring nearly twenty years ago when the f-word was used over 100 times in one session (30 overs). The main culprit was one of the captains.
International sport is now just another commodity packaged for commercial gain. mainly through the electronic media. So, cricket fields are simply another workplace. If Buttler’s disgraceful performance had occurred in an office, he would now be warned of possible dismissal. As a supposed representative of his country this foul-mouthed individual should have been shipped back home to Brexitland immediately. But he is a sportsperson for whom special behavioural rules seem invariably to apply.
Obscene language is just one of many unethical practices that has penetrated deep into the culture of professional sport. In a sense it’s just another form of cheating designed to unsettle, although it often involves racism as well. Exactly why unsavoury characters such as Buttler should enjoy public prominence and acclaim can only be explained by the false consciousness, vigorously stoked by the media, which envelopes sport.
Witness 16 January 2020