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Sam Kerr can say whatever she damn well likes

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Expert
16th June, 2019
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“You can see what it means to us,” said skipper Sam Kerr after the Matildas’ nail-biting 3-2 win over Brazil, although a few critics seemed to miss that comment.

“We were so disappointed after the first game,” added Kerr in her post-match interview immediately after the full-time whistle, “and Brazil are a top ten team.”

You’re absolutely right, Sam.

Although I must admit I missed those comments when she originally made them because they were so run-of-the-mill they weren’t worth committing to memory.

And that’s pretty much the crux of why anyone is still talking about Kerr’s “suck on that” comment.

Because – let’s face it – it was essentially the only memorable thing she said.

Why did she say it? Probably because a bloke with a microphone asked her a question, I reckon.

That’s literally how post-match interviews work.

And had it not been for Kerr making a mildly unusual remark in the heat of the moment on the back of one of the greatest comebacks in the Matildas’ history, we’d all have forgotten her otherwise unremarkable post-match interview just as soon as it was over.

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Sam Kerr Matildas Australian Football 2017

Sam Kerr of the Matildas. (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images)

However, those telling journalists not to write about Kerr’s remarks – often in the comments section of stories they decry as pointless – are usually missing the point as well.

Here’s how the media works.

Say something interesting – generate a headline.

But say something less interesting – like “I love these girls and we’re back in it” – and it’s far less likely to create a headline, because at the end of the day it’s not really a newsworthy quote worth mentioning.

And telling journalists not to report on something newsworthy is a bit like telling your accountant not to worry about that shoebox full of receipts in your closet – it’s counterproductive and ultimately a waste of everyone’s time.

So should Kerr have even made the remark?

Honestly, who cares? It’s not like she’s the prime minister of Australia!

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And perhaps those who drone on and on about sportspeople being role models and imploring us all in their shrill Helen Lovejoy voices to “think of the children” should look a little closer to home.

But then those who use things like Kerr’s “suck on that” comment to pontificate endlessly about the morals of modern society aren’t actually interested in improving things.

They just want to be heard. And social media provides the perfect platform.

That’s why the trolls come out whenever anyone of note does something momentous like help steer their nation to a come-from-behind win in a crucial World Cup game.

These sad, lonely individuals aren’t as edgy or as provocative as they’d like to make themselves out to be.

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Mostly they’re just pathetic.

So as much as Kerr might think she’s highlighting how many “haters” are out there by re-tweeting a homophobic tweet from some no-name nobody with zero followers and even less of an idea, in reality she’s simply feeding the trolls.

A better method surely is to simply ignore them and keep winning on the pitch.

And perhaps, in all honesty, acknowledge that the majority of the critics who’ve scrutinised the Matildas over the past few months haven’t done so because they’re haters.

The Matildas score a goal against Brazil at the Tournament of Nations

The Matildas are in with a shot. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Most are actually huge fans of the Matildas and simply want to see the team reach its undoubted potential.

That’s why so many of us back home in Australia will be up at 5am on Wednesday morning to watch the Matildas take on Jamaica in Grenoble and hopefully book their passage into a favourable Round of 16 draw in the process.

Far from hating the team or who the players are as individuals, most of us simply want to watch them excel.

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And as long as Sam Kerr helps her nation do that, she can say whatever she likes.

Just keep banging away the goals, Sam, and you can leave the post-match commentary to the rest of us.

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