The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage labelled Sonny Bill Williams as a ‘magnanimous berk’.
In the aftermath of the World Cup Final, fans across the sporting world praised the generosity of Sonny Bill Williams, after he gave his winners medal to young Charlie Lines.
Although the security guard who tackled Lines to the ground has been unfairly criticised by some, the incident capped what was a wonderful tournament. Indeed Williams’ generosity was rewarded, when World Rugby presented him with another medal on Sunday night.
However writing in The Guardian yesterday, Stuart Heritage claimed ‘the victims of Sonny Bill’s action are literally every single person who has ever won – or will ever win – anything. This isn’t an exaggeration’.
With his tongue firmly resting in his cheek, Heritage went further, writing,
After about five seconds, I realised what Sonny Bill Williams had actually done. He’s ruined competitive sport for ever. Nice work, Sonny Bill, you magnanimous berk…
I thought nothing of Sir Chris Hoy parading his Olympic gold medals around on various television shows in 2012. Now, though, I can’t help wondering what sort of monster would even keep them in the first place.
Although Heritage uses a satirical tone throughout his article, it will no doubt annoy supporters who see the exchange between Williams and Lines as being one of the most celebrated moments in rugby history.
Nonetheless Heritage’s article may have some merit, particularly after he pointed out, now that there is ‘one more winners’ medal in the world, [it] will only devalue all the other Rugby World Cup winners’ medals out there’.
However Heritage sullies this argument by returning to his satirical tone, claiming, ‘That’s not going to help his teammates when they have to sell theirs 40 years from now in order to keep their homes warm, is it?’.
While Heritage’s article is a welcome break from those that lavished praise on Sonny Bill Williams, the tone of the piece is bound to infuriate some fans. Indeed Heritage does not help himself in his introduction, where he admits to being ‘an avowed sport-avoider’.
However others will praise the humour used by Heritage, particularly in his conclusion, where he called on Williams ‘to do the right thing. He must hold his hands up, admit he was wrong and then forcibly rip that medal from the quivering hands of that crying little boy’.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena