CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
A Samoan-Australian man, who has lived his life between Samoa and Australia, and was raised by Samoan parents, and attends a Samoan church in a Western Sydney suburb with a large Samoan community, is this week under fire for acknowledging his Samoan identity.
Premiership winning NRL star and New South Wales Blues hero, Brian To’o, has today had to respond to the criticism he’s received since pledging his allegiance to Samoa for the Rugby League World Cup.
To’o revealed last week that he had committed to Samoa ahead of this year’s Rugby League World Cup rather than Australia, because he wanted to play for his homeland, which shouldn’t really be too difficult for Australians to get their heads around.
The 23-year-old is free to represent both NSW next Wednesday in the Origin decider and Samoa in October because the Pacific nation is a tier-two nation, and these kinds of sacrifices and gestures of pride actually grows the game in the Islands.
However, this hasn’t stopped the mouth-breathers from the Murdoch media from grilling the Panthers winger, as desperate rugby league journalists attempt to stoke culture wars by demanding that To’o remove the ‘Samoan’ from Samoan-Australian.
It is not yet known why this kind of outrage doesn’t surround the blokes who choose to play for Italy because one of their grandparents worked on the Snowy Hydro Scheme.
And in true Australian media fashion, To’o has today felt the need to apologise for pledging allegiance to a major influence on his own identity.
“Some people might think of Australia with the money and stuff like that, but for me it’s not about money, it’s about culture and legacy — that’s something I’ve really wanted to play for. I want to play with my heart” said To’o providing a completely rational and well thought out answer to the pointless outrage, not that he needed to in the first place.
“I just hope everyone can understand that, I just want to apologise to everyone if I’ve hurt their feelings.”
It is also not known why it even matters to anyone if Brian To’o wants to play developing rugby league nation, and why anyone would want to see a world cup where Australia dominates smaller countries with a stacked team of NRL superstars.