Ian Foster’s canceled press conference explained
This article originally appeared on Stuff and is reproduced with permission
All Blacks media officer Jo Malcolm has explained why manager Ian Foster failed to attend a press conference on Sunday following the team’s loss to Ireland in Wellington on Saturday night.
In a post on professional networking site LinkedIn, Malcolm said she made the choice not to put Foster in the media because he’s a “human” first.
“I decided not to ask All Blacks head coach Ian Foster to face late on Sunday morning. Not him,” she said.
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“I felt he needed a day or two to figure out what he meant and not just be a punching bag for the media, who, let’s be clear, wanted blood.”
She said that while fans deserve to know what’s going on, Foster is “a human being that I wanted to protect.”
“Ian Foster and Sam Cane have been so bagged in the media, I felt they needed some space to think. My bad? Looking back? I’ll take this hit. I’m here to take care of people as well as to make communications.”
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Foster’s coaching has come under scrutiny as he now has the lowest winning percentage of any All Blacks manager in the professional era.
He was called in for a discussion with NZR chief executive Mark Robinson, who called the series loss “not acceptable”, about how improvements could be made ahead of the Rugby Championship.
Robinson is expected to report to an NZR board meeting on Wednesday.
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A review, which is standard procedure after a series, should be performed.
Malcolm also referenced tennis star Naomi Osaka, saying she understood why Osaka chose not to attend press conferences.
Osaka did not face the media at the 2021 French Open to protect his mental health and well-being.
“It’s brutal when you lose (sic) and yes, tough questions have to be asked,” she said.
Malcolm, who has spent more than a decade as a journalist and teaches journalism, said “we are all human beings” and journalists should be “human first”.
She said that following the show’s loss, she was “losing (sic) faith in people’s ability to be journalists, PR AND human beings.”
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Malcolm’s human approach is what critics of various sports are clamoring for.
The New Zealand Cycling Review – which was set following the alleged suicide of Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore – revealed that the focus is on results and medals over athletes, as human beings are detrimental to their mental health and well-being.
Malcolm asked people to “think before joining the mass media”.
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