Samoan international defends Australian T.V. personality

A Samoan rugby league international has gone to the defense of Australian TV personality Erin Molan, after she was criticised over comments which some say was racist.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that West Tigers prop and Samoan international Josh Aloiai says he is not worried about the potential backlash from fellow Pacific Island players Manly Sea Eagles prop Martin Taupau and teammate Addin Fonua-Blake for going to the defense of the Nine News presenter.

“I’m not afraid of the backlash from Marty or Addin or any of the Pacific Island players who attacked Erin,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“They need to do their research and not act off bad and irresponsible reporting from the Daily Mail before they attack someone’s character.

‘‘I’m going to be very blunt: I’m angry and disappointed with what has been said about Erin in the Pacific Island community and she is owed an apology from everyone who has attacked her. It is disgusting and horrible what happened to Erin.”

Describing the reporting of the comments as “horribly uninformed”, Aloiai has said that he wanted to speak out in defence of Molan.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the controversy began when Molan, hosting 2GB’s Continuous Call Team with Darryl Brohman and Mark Levy, put on an accent and said “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” while referencing a previous story discussing the difficulty of pronouncing the names of Pacific Islands players.

Aloiai has reportedly contacted his club to see how he can get Molan and the Pacific Islander community in Sydney to come to terms following the fallout. 

“I’m not being brave,” he said. “I’m following my convictions. I stand with Erin. She should not feel afraid to leave the house because of threats. She should not have to hide away at home with her daughter. She should not have to look over her shoulder. She does so much for the Pacific Island community, for its players. Things she does not seek credit or exposure for. Racist and Erin is not something that should be talked about [in the same sentence].

“Will people now say I am a racist because I’m defending her against some terrible reporting and horribly uninformed comment. I’ve played for Samoa. I’m half-Samoan and half-European. I want to play for New Zealand this year.

‘‘Do I know what racism looks like? Well, I know it doesn’t look like Erin Molan. When I told her I wanted to do an interview she didn’t want me to speak out because she was concerned for me. That’s the type of person she is.

‘‘I want my opinion and my voice to be heard. I think we are very lucky to live in unison in Australia. I honestly believe we have it good in this country. I love it here and will probably live my whole life here. And I would not be comfortable if I didn’t speak out when there was an injustice done against a good person. She deserves support and she deserves an apology from anyone who has treated her terribly.”

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