‘Frankly, I didn’t get my reaction right’: Former England flanker James Haskell apologises for his ‘have a day off’ post after being accused of ‘disrespecting’ women’s rugby
- James Haskell made a list of the most-capped front-row forwards on Monday
- But he left off women’s player Rocky Clark, and was then corrected by Simi Pam
- Haskell replied ‘have a day off’ but was criticised for his patronising comments
Former England flanker James Haskell has posted a three-minute apology video after he was accused of disrespecting women’s rugby.
The former England back-rower told Bristol Bears star Simi Pam to ‘have a day off’ when she corrected his social media post listing the most-capped front-rowers for the country.
In an Instagram post by his ‘The Good, The Bad and The Rugby’ podcast on Sunday, Haskell put Jason Leonard, the most-capped men’s player with 114, top of the list rather than former women’s star Rocky Clark, who has 137.
James Haskell has posted a three-minute apology video on Instagram after he was accused of disrespecting women’s rugby after telling Bristol Bears star Sami Pam to ‘have a day off’
After receiving a barrage of criticism on social media after his controversial comments, Haskell admitted that he didn’t get his reaction right.
He said in the message on Instagram: ‘I really feel like my silence has left a void which people are filling with untruths, character assasinations and pretty aggressive comments about me and my integrity.
‘Yesterday, on the Good, Bad and Rugby podcast we posted about Steve Thompson and the amazing journey he’s on.
The former England flanker saw his social media post listing the most-capped front-rowers for the country corrected after it had Jason Leonard (right) as first rather than Rocky Clark (left)
Haskell told Bristol Bears prop Simi Pam to ‘have a day off’ but was criticised for his response
‘It was captioned: ‘England’s most capped front-rowers ever’, with a picture of Thompson and Dylan Hartley. We should have put the ‘men’s most capped England front-rowers ever’, without doing that we marginalise people like Rocky Clark and we cause offence.
‘So because of that we were inundated with public comments and it was a genuine mistake which was quickly rectified. Obviously within these comments they weren’t always put in the most positive way.
‘I’d walked off stage pretty pumped after doing a live show, full of adrenaline, I find out we’ve walked into a bit of a media storm and I frankly didn’t get my reaction right.
‘I posted without thinking because I felt as a company and individuals we were being attacked. We try so hard to get things right and promote women’s rugby.’
Pam, who works full-time as a doctor as well as playing rugby and worked in Bristol hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, called the 37-year-old’s comment ‘disappointing’
Pam said the graphic should have had the word ‘male’ included or directly referenced Clark, who represented her country in four World Cup tournaments in a decade-long career, winning the 2014 competition.
She posted: ‘I think you meant to say “most England caps – MALE front row forwards”. Please stop disrespecting the women like this. Because the way you’ve named this list, we know Rocky Clark tops it. Please do better @goodbadrugby’.
Ex-Wasps stalwart Haskell, infamous for his controversial opinions, quickly shot back: ‘@simipam have a day off.’
Pam, who has a full-time job as a doctor and worked in Bristol hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, called his reply ‘disappointing’.
But when other users agreed with Pam, who will represent Bristol as they face Exeter in the Premier 15s semi-final on Sunday, the 37-year-old deleted his comment and replaced it with an amended post.
That post claimed he personally has done ‘more for the growth of the women’s game than anyone’, ostensibly via his spin-off podcast on women’s rugby ‘The Good, The Scaz and the Rugby’ which began last year and is co-hosted by England star Emily Scarratt and former England back Mike Tindall.