NZME sportscaster Tony Veitch took a drubbing on social media last week for a feature he wrote for the Herald on Sunday. It was part a NZ Herald campaign against domestic violence. Reaction to the self serving article showed that not only have some people have not forgiven Veitch for his attack on his former girlfriend ten years ago, it showed that some never will. Why did he think it was a good idea to cast himself as the redeemed soul?
The most telling response was from Steve Dunne Powell, the father of the woman Veitch attacked.
In Stuff he said (abridged):
“In the 10 years since Tony Veitch broke my daughter’s back, she has rebuilt her life completely. I wish she was not forever more connected to this man. The constant reminders of this public case also haunt her as she attempts to go happily about her daily life. Stay silent, and just let it go … say nothing. Is that the best way I can protect my daughter and other women in abusive relationships?
I can see Veitch’s logic. He has a high profile at NZME which had gone on an ambitious and important editorial campaign against domestic violence. The 2009 conviction of its star was the Elephant in the Room for a campaign against domestic violence. But many people never liked Veitch for his brash style. Then the facts were revealed about the assault in the courts. Enough people do like him that he is commercially valuable for NZME. Social media commenters have questioned Veitch’s right to maintain his career as a sportscaster. Which is wrong. But he needs face facts. People will always remember what he did. The next time he is asked for his opinion about domestic violence he needs to keep his mouth shut.
Postscript: Stuff has today produced an article that goes into great lengths to resurrect the details of the police case against Veitch from the court case seven years ago. Its a valid story but it further reopens the stress faced by the victim of the assault and her family.