30.6.11

I DON'T WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND

It has been reported by another referee that Rory McLeod refused to shake hands with the referee at the end of his match in the Australian Open qualifiers today.

The speculation is that this is because Ivy Zhu is a woman and McLeod is a Muslim and that it would have somehow compromised his religious beliefs.

I wasn't there and know nothing more about this incident than has been reported on Twitter.

Also, I have no intention in straying into the murky waters of religion. I am pretty tolerant of most beliefs, no matter how barmy they may seem to others. After all, in the Britpop era I believed Shed Seven were a better band than Blur or Oasis.

But if this story is true - and it seems a strange thing for another referee to make up - then it is troubling.

Refereeing snooker matches is not a glamorous job. They certainly aren't paid fortunes and spend long periods away from home.

This woman has come all the way from China to pursue her ambition to referee regularly on the circuit and she surely deserves to be treated with the appropriate respect.

Michaela Tabb has become established as a favourite with players and fans. The fact she is a woman has long since become an irrelevance: the point is she is good at her job.

If a referee is deemed worthy of picking balls out of a pocket and passing a player the rest then they are equally deserving of a courteous handshake at the end of the match.

37 comments:

Sonny said...

I have it on relative authority that her Weibo page makes reference to the incident but in a more light hearted manner. She says she just finished refereeing Rory McLeod and Robert Milkins, and apparently Islam men don't shake hands with females who are non-relatives so they saved a bit of time in bypassing the handshake.

The comments section below include such gems as "That Rory McLeod looks handsome" and "Does that mean if he shakes your hand you can have a relationship with him?". Roughly translated. They all seem completely unphased by it all in China. Different culture to the British land of PC!

kildare cueman said...

No doubt that Women refs deserve to be treated with equal respect and dignity as men, but a player's religious beliefs, should be tolerated as well as long as they don't offend or impinge on anyone.

Whether the refusal of a handshake constitutes offence is a matter of opinion, but for all we know Rory might believe that by shaking hands with a woman, he'll be run over by a herd of cattle as soon as he shuts his cue case.

Perhaps a courteous word with the ref pre match explaining things may avoid an embarassing situation in future.

Alternatively the ref could do a deal where she doesn't offer her hand, on condition that Rory speeds up a bit. That would suit both parties.

Bin Laid In said...

Just flicked onto BBC News 24 to be greeted with inflamatory and tense scenes coming direct from numerous streets in the Middle East as the the Arab world as a Fatwah has been issued on Dave Hendon, labelling him the 21st century Salman Rushdie.

Baying mobs can be seen surrouding burning piles of the Snooker Scene magazine, and an effigy of Hendon has also just been set ablaze.

Seifer Almasy said...

You are tolerant of a religion (islam) that seeks domination and to end your rights. You clearly know nothing about Islam and what it is about.

This is disgusting and needs to be nipped in the bud. If he won't shake a female ref's hand then he should not be allowed to play. Religious bigotry from the "religion of peace" especially has NO place in sport, science or most other places.

Betty Logan said...

If you open up the game to international players then the bottom line is you can't really expect everyone to observe British cultural customs. No-one should be compelled to touch someone else if they don't want to, and you can be courteous without shaking hands. It's not like he's insisted that she wears a veil while she referees, so not a problem.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Does anybody know what Rory McLeod's past behaviour has been when it comes to being refereed by women?

Regards,

Marcus

Anonymous said...

i agree with seifer, for once!

Anonymous said...

thanks to jan for twittertweeting it

Gini said...

And isn't there usually also a pre-match handshake? Then I suppose he must have refused that as well?

Janie Watkins said...

I find this very odd. Two of the Qatari players, both Muslims, arrived at SWSA yesterday and both shook hands with me.

I have been in Qatar several times and never has anyone, either male or female not shaken hands.

Anonymous said...

So it's ok to accept the beliefs of Rory and that his religion states he doesn't have to shake the female referees hand, so we mustn't upset him and his religion. What about the female ref, is it ok to make her accept his mark of respect? So she must accept that in the eyes of a certain snooker player she is a second class inferior person.

What if in the future a fellow player plays Rory and won't shake his hand because he doesn't agree with the beliefs of Rory and how they treat a fellow human being?

jamie brannon said...

When I have time I will make a statement about the bigger issue, but I'm still coming terms to with Dave's declaration of Shed Seven being better than Oasis or Blur!!

I am boycotting the blog!! (Cue cheers from all other posters!)

Anonymous said...

If this is true, Rory needs to be disciplined for ungentlemanly conduct.

Anonymous said...

Shed Seven were a better band than Blur or Oasis!

Anonymous said...

were in no hurry to read your rambling jaimsy

Anonymous said...

Ah yes Seifer Almasy. He's a member of the BNP party if it's the same person I remember from another snooker site.

Claus said...

I'm shocked that there is tolerance for this among some people. What if a devoted nazi refused to shake a jewish refs hand? Is this to be allowed to respect political beliefs? Of course not!! Rory should be ashamed and embarrassed and he should be slapped with a heavy fine and warned not to ever repeat this disrespectful act.

If he can't leave his religious intolerance at home when he goes out to play he has no place on the professional circuit.

Set an example here. No sharia snooker, please!

Anonymous said...

It seems the governing bodies of the pro and the amateur game should find a directive about the behaviour. What should be more important: the religion or the usual behaviour in the sport. If you follow the Asian Championships or the U 21 Asian Championships then you know there are players from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan only one step away from the Main Tour qualification. (It would be interesting to know how the situation was at the U 21 Asian Championships at Kish (Iran) in this year? There were a lot of female referees.) I don't know their way of practising their religion but there is a possibility one could follow Rory. And I'm sure people who are very orthodox in other religions also have their rules and prejudices. So it should be clear for all players.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of him not shaking her hands was because islam has a code of conduct with the opposite sex closing all doors to elicit behaviour, as naturally men and woman are attracted to each other. surely this has nothing to do with disrespecting her.

Anonymous said...

if my new religion states i cannot play snooker between 9am and 2pm does that mean i wont ever get a morning match?

Wolfgang said...

This seems to be the first piece of bad journalism I've ever read in this blog.

"It has been reported …", "But if it's true …".

Did you try to contact Rory? Did you try to contact the referee? What leads to the fact that it was a religious thing?

jamie brannon said...

I'm not going to start a big sppech, so it's getting better all the time for the readers? (Dave, deliberately had to quote some Shed Seven lyrics)

However, like Marcus, I was wondering if Rory has shaken hands with Michaela Tabb before?

Also, could the reasons be not for religious reasons and something he was unhappy with in terms of the way the match was officiated.

For me, Suede were the best band of the Britpop era closely followed by Oasis and Blur.

Dave H said...

Pulp were better than any of them

Dave H said...

Wolfgang - the facts of the story are correct. Michaela Tabb says she was told of the situation with McLeod at the start of the season, that he nods to her rather than shakes her hand and that she has no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

as i meant by my post at 8.15

its a stupid situation to be in. if everyone brought religion to their situations then we could barely move.

if i told my boss i couldnt work sundays cos i got to go pray to god he would ask me to empty my locker there and then....

this world has gone mad.

im not religious at all.
i would be offended if out of normal routine he refused to shake my hand.
so much so that even if nobody concerned in the situation is offended, i am so much so that i wont ever support him again. even when he plays ronnie.

Anonymous said...

Don't see what the big deal is, if he doesn't want to shake hands due to his religious beliefs, instead of arguing about it, why not accept that those are his beliefs? It's easier that way.

wild said...

its still a load of old religious cobblers.

lets everyone start nodding instead.

Anonymous said...

Don't see what the big deal is, if he doesn't want to shake hands due to his religious beliefs, instead of arguing about it, why not accept that those are his beliefs? It's easier that way.

7:51 PM

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what if its his religios beliefs that he can only wear speedos and nothing but, before 9pm at night?

take it that would be ok too?

jamie brannon said...

Why should we tolerate his beliefs when clearly he is not tolerant of women, or at least views them as second-class citizens?

Pulp were excellent but not in a different class!!

Also, why suddenly this season? He must have been officiated by Tabb before.

Anonymous said...

he only became a muslim about 10 years ago

before that he probably shook hands with all gods flock

John McBride said...

It is certainly something that needs to be discussed, because it makes me feel that I’m not sure, if I’m not sure.

Anonymous said...

Whats to be discussed: if he dosent want to shake hands who cares. Alex higgins often refused too. so what. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Whats to be discussed: if he dosent want to shake hands who cares. Alex higgins often refused too. so what. Get a life.

10:59 PM

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bad comparison

only thing in common is the action

it is the reason for not doing the customary action that people are ill at ease with.

fairly sure you knew that though...

jamie brannon said...

I'm ill at ease with this attitude towards women in the islamic faith.

My beliefs may not be bound up in religious doctrine but they are just as valid.

I will always be against any prejudice towards people on grounds of their skin colour, nationality and gender.

kildare cueman said...

There is nothing in the rulebook about compulsory handshakes.
In order to avoid religious sexism, perhaps the way for Muslims to go is to nod to all referees, male and female.
I certainly wouldn't want to shake hands with somebody who didn't want to shake mine, and I would guess all referees would think the same.

Anonymous said...

the lady referee should put out her hand then put it to her face and make a waving action with her fingers whilst touching her nose with her thumb.

Seifer Almasy said...

Anonymous said...

Ah yes Seifer Almasy. He's a member of the BNP party if it's the same person I remember from another snooker site.

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I would like to note that I am not a member of the BNP at all but as usual, if you oppose that religion you are called a racist. I have no membership to the BNP and I am not far right in politics (I am authoritarian left). I suggest you stop allowing these insulting libellous slurs through onto your blog Hendon, they reflect badly on you. If it is on topic and debating properly-sure, but that post and quite a few others have been anything but.