Hopoate slammed for ‘violent’ post against ‘racist’ Molan
Former NRL bad boy John Hopoate has been slammed by anti-violence advocates for comments against Channel 9 sports host Erin Molan in which he threatened to "accidentally trip this racist bitch''.
The social media post came after Molan herself was blasted for appearing to mock the names of Pacific Islander rugby league players during a radio show - which Molan later brushed off as an "inside joke''.
This led to Hopate posting on Instagram opposite a photograph of Molan: "It was an inside joke between colleagues so it's ok. Just like when I accidentally trip this RACIST BITCH over and she falls and scrapes her RACIST mouth on the ground.
"But I won't apologise cause it's an inside joke between friends.''
The post was slammed by anti-violence and women's campaigners.
Campaign manager for anti-misogyny organisation Collective Shout, Caitlin Roper, said regardless of how Hopoate felt towards Molan, his reaction was disturbing and communicated to his audience that violence toward women is justifiable.
"He can reject what she's said or take issue with it and that's fair, that's reasonable, but this is not the way to express that," she said.
"You don't joke about hoping women are victims of violence.
"It's not just a man making hateful, misogynist comments, it's a man with influence who has an audience of young, impressionable men who are listening and he's saying that women are bitches and they deserve it and they had it coming.
"Women are being murdered every week by their partners. Stop thinking it's ok to speak about women this way."
Studio 10's Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who faced similar criticism last year over comments she made about Australia Day protests, defended Molan and condemned Hopoate's post.
"That's disgraceful. I know her and I really like her. For any boofhead to come out and suggest violence against any woman … that behaviour has to be called out," Kennerley said.
"It drives me mad in this climate that the people who are so politically correct are the most intolerant people of anyone else. (Molan) is not a malicious person and wouldn't do anything deliberately hurtful."
Hopoate was just one of several Pacific Islander NRL players who slammed Molan for her comments about pronouncing foreign names on the 2GB Continuous Call show on Saturday. Molan appeared to put on an accent and said "hooka, looka, mooka, hooka, fooka", leaving her co-hosts Darryl Brohman and Mark Levy baffled.
"What? I'm not sure what she said there," Brohman said before Levy quickly changed the subject.
Molan, 37, denied she was mocking Pacific Islander names and brushed off the awkward moment as an "inside joke" between the commentary team. But Manly Sea Eagles prop Martin Taupau slammed her comments as "disgraceful".
"Understandable for our non-Pasifika community attempting to properly announce our names, but to disrespect and make a mockery of former/current Pasifika players in the NRL like how you carried on is DISGRACEFUL! My grandfather would be tossing in his grave in anger!
Kiwi rugby player Braden Hamlin-Uele echoed similar sentiments.
"An inside joke? Show some respect!," he wrote.
Understandable for our non-Pasifika community attempting to properly announce our names, but to disrespect and make a mockery of former/current Pasifika players in the NRL like how you carried on is DISGRACEFUL! My grandfather would be tossing in his grave in anger!🤬@Erin_Molan https://t.co/CTMuzHEatl— Martin Taupau (@MartyKapow) June 5, 2020
A Change.org petition calling for Molan to be fired has received more than 500 signatures.
Originally published as Hopoate slammed for 'violent' post against 'racist' Molan