A little comment from Nick…..
On Saturday, one of the finest games of rugby ever played took place. It was a 500-1 upset caused by some well-executed set plays, some inspirational feats of athleticism, and a few key decisions of such monumental bravery that I’m sure a wheelbarrow is now required for Mr Leitch’s cahoonas. And amongst the deserved adulation for the Japanese team on Facebook and other social media I have also come across stories like this:
“[as] a Springbok fan… I’m genuinely more happy for Japan and our sport than I am sad”
“the Japanese fans were so ###### polite… By the time we reached Brighton station, we were hugging every Japanese person we could find”
“as a Japanese I’m very glad… my people keep discipline and be polite when they travel overseas… Something like this makes me proud to be Japanese”
“I was impressed with the South Africa fans, they were congratulating Japan fans and and consoling the ones who were crying. Nice to see.”
These aren’t stories about the rugby although perhaps they say a lot about rugby fans (or maybe just the Springboks and the Blossoms). These are stories about individuals who I would never hear from otherwise, stories about human beings from different cultures and with different experiences being happy for one another, and being happy together.
For every story about racist Chelsea fans kicking a black French guy off the Metro plastered across the tabloids, there is a story like this which I would not hear about but for Facebook, and Reddit, and Instagram. And for every public Daily Mail story about hating foreigners, and every misogynistic tattle-tale about orange-faced Essex “celebrities”, there’s a private story that reminds me that the people of the world, and the people I know on Facebook, are actually pretty decent.
So perhaps a little uncomfortable voyeurism and pictures of perfect Eggs Hollandaise is worth it.