Radio Sport host Mark Watson caused a stir on social media last night after using the term “bro-fessional” while discussing Warriors players Manu Vatuvei, Konrad Hurrell and Dominique Peyroux.
The Night Train host, who also hosts Newstalk ZB’s Sports Talk, was using his Facebook page to discuss the Warriors player’s attendance at a concert just two nights before they were hammered 16 – 50 by the lowly placed West Tigers.
Watson used the term “bro-fessional” when trying to explain the difference between what fans should be expecting and what he sees the players doing. “The issue is not about whether they drank or not. The issue is about making a statement around professionalism,” he wrote.
“By staying at home or staying in your room and having an early night you are saying to me you are serious about yourself as an athlete, the club and the fans who you represent and that you want to be the best you can be,” Watson continued.
He added: “We need to be professional with a zero tolerance for bro-fessional (no racial connotation).”
Followers quickly joined the converstion to discuss the term and its possible racial overtones. Mataio Viliamu wrote: “I wonder if you’d say ‘bro-fessional’ if these weren’t pasifika boys.” Ashar Horomona wrote, “I don’t like that bro-fessional term.”
Watson went on to defend his comments, responding, “i am european and my mates and I call each other bro all the time. Don’t turn this into a race issue. Bro is simply a word for being too laid back [sic].”
Others responded: “No it isn’t Mark. When has anyone ever used the term Bro-fessional to explain a co-worker who is lazy or laid back? #never,” and, “Wonder if they weren’t pacific boys we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Watson replied in the thread: “We’ve got words like bromance, bro love, bro hood etc. it’s something you associate with being with friends [sic].”
“Check out Barney from How I Met Your Mother with the Brocode. This is where I’m coming from with the Warriors. It’s too matey matey and not enough about being a pro.
“Please refrain from the ad hominem attack and continue the discussion about what I was really saying whether you agree with me or not.”
It’s not the first time that Watson has come under fire for comments he has made in reference to some elite sports people. In 2012 he faced Jessie Ryder in a charity boxing match after a series of remarks about the cricketer’s alcohol problems.
Watson runs a popular weekly segment on his show called Controversy Corner, and has become a popular host on NZME’s sports programming.