A four-letter word starting with ‘c’, and “humour” have served to reinforce the message – words matter. In June 2010, individual but disturbingly similar cases of racism rocked leading sporting codes and organisations in Australia - the National Rugby League (NRL) and the Australian Football League (AFL). Two former champion Australian sportsmen – one a recently retired rugby league star, Andrew Johns, and the other, a former Australian rules heavyweight, Mal Brown –were at the centre of a debate about words and, more importantly, the power of words. Johns was accused of racial vilification while serving as an assistant coach to the NSW State of Origin rugby league team. Johns admitted to using a racial slur against Queensland opposition team member, Greg Inglis.
Recommended CitationBurns, Shawn, Commentary: Words matter: Journalists, educators, media guidelines and representation of disability, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 20, 2010, 277-284.