Post by ~misfit~
As an aside I just watched part of a fishing show on TV that I saw before I
started playing a video file. Now I'm no prude but I stopped watching it as
soon as the ad break came, despite the fact I used to spend a lot of time
(and money) fishing and it was interesting to me. I stopped watching because
I didn't like the regular beeping of swearing. Not just once or twice but
multiple times a minute. Swearing has its place (being in extremis) however
if used too often it just shows a limited vocabulary and low intellect.
So no more knobby words from you, and you'll shun anybody given to them? Or you're just building up for another swipe at Vettel?
Post by ~misfit~
There's a school of thought that says Vettel swears so much on team radio in
an attempt to discourage FOM from broadcasting his messages (and that he'd
like to be as cool as Kimi). Whatever his reasons (and I've heard the excuse
"these drivers learn their English from mechanics" too) I think that drivers
should be fined for excessive swearing on the radio (with concessions made
if it's mid-rollover or something) and in public at F1 weekends - a
'standard of conduct' clause if you will. F1 used to be classy but now it's
starting to sound like a low budget reality show.
There are problems with people who don't speak English as a first language but get exposed to profanity on building sites or in garages. At one time there was a problem withe black men in South Africa, usually labourers, using the f... word around people who weren't expecting it. Some supervisor told him something was "fucked". Now when he's mowing your lawn and the mower won't play ball, he'll tell the lady of the house "the lawnmower is fucked!" - and both parties will be surprised.
So I think it does happen.
But Vettel is not some young guy in his first season in FF20000. He knows what those words mean, just as Senna and Piquet did.
Sports have profanity codes. Tennis used to caution players for first "audible obscenity" and then sanction on a repeat in the same match.
South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada (who went to a very good school and knows exactly what these words mean) has racked up enough penalty points, after yesterday telling Ben Stokes what he could do, that he has to miss a game. The words he used were picked up by on-field microphones and broadcast.
There will be a complaint, I'm sure, because the microphones were on. The players always want those mics on for a limited period of time and think it a bit rough if they get caught chucking cuss words around. To which one answer is - if you don't say it, a microphone can't catch you saying it.
The counter from the players will be that in the heat of the competition things do get said. I will long remember South African prop forward Balie Swart talking of the first time he played against the legendary All Black hooker Shaun Fitzpatrick. Swart said "I thought I knew my mother well, then I scrummed down against Fitzpatrick." (he also said "he's not so bad, really. If you hit him and he knew he was asking for it, he won't tell the ref")
The problem, for F1 and for cricket and for lots of sports, is that everything is now in the public domain - or should be regarded as such.
Swearing is not new to F1. I recall a report I read of Piquet's win at Canada in 1991 after Mansell's car stopped on the last lap. The report said something like 'when asked how he'd felt when he saw Mansell slowing he intimated that he'd found a cure for impotence."
The previous year there had been an infamous outburst from Senna (I think it was Autosport that observed that Senna had compared Balestre to "a quantity of used food".)
There was Kimi and his "I went for a shit."
There was Schumacher confronting Coulthard. There was Senna first giving Irvine a mouthful and then punching him.
It's now new, but the way in which everything is instantly public is. 20 years ago Rabada might still have told Stokes "fuck off", but the international TV audience wouldn't have heard it. There would have been no penalty.
I think there does need to be a deal of some kind where drivers know they can blow off steam and it will be kept private. I'd like to not see microphones and cameras in the garages. If Alonso wants to walk to the back of the garage and take a hammer and some choice words to the first thing he sees that bears a Honda logo, then, in that place, he should be able to. He should mind his Ps and Qs at press conferences.
In cricket it's generally been things that are done on the field of play or whilst otherwise on public view that get sanctioned. There was an issue some years ago with the then South African captain smashing a chair in a tunnel at a ground in Australia. The general view was that the ground were entitled to send him an invoice, but because it wasn't in public it was nothing for the match referee to deal with.
Drivers should certainly be told to not swear at press conferences and whilst on podiums. Heat of the moment issues need some leeway. Abuse of officials - as Vettel did to Whiting last year - should be a no-no.