By DANNY BUTTLER
Golf club joke shows racism debate still has a…
PAKENHAM Golf Club has been forced to apologise to its members after a racist joke was circulated in the club newsletter.
The joke, which was published under the Something For The Light Hearted banner, intimated that black people were lazy, welfare dependant and criminals.
Due to the offensive nature of the joke, the Gazette has chosen not to republish it.
Club general manager Jason McQualter, who did not see the joke before it went to print, said the apology would be sent to all members after a complaint about the newsletter content.
Several other members have also complained to the club.
“I will apologise to all our members via email,” he said.
Despite the formal apology, Mr McQualter said he did not believe the joke, which was sourced from a regular newsletter contributor, was offensive.
“I wouldn’t take offence, whether I am black or not,” Mr McQualter said.
“I don’t think it was racially vilifying anyone… I read it afterwards and I didn’t have an issue with it.”
Mr McQualter said “we have multi-races of people at the golf club” and it was a matter best dealt with in-house.
“I don’t believe it is an issue for Star News to be running with,” he said.
Club President Rob Nobelius said he recognised that the joke was in bad taste, which is why an apology would be issued.
“The joke is completely inappropriate,” he said.
“It wasn’t meant to offend anyone.
“It’s just not on… not in this day and age.”
Mr Nobelius said members and the public could be assured that the club would never publish any similarly racist material again.
“It slipped through the cracks and the club will take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Racism in sport has been brought into sharp focus in recent times after indigenous footballer Adam Goodes was called an “ape” by a teenage spectator.
Eddie McGuire’s subsequent “ape” comments in reference to Goodes promoting the King Kong musical created another controversy.
There was widespread public discussion in the wake of these events about what constitutes racism.