Much has been made of Joe Marler’s “Gypsy Boy” comment aimed at Samson Lee at Twickenham last Saturday.
Was it an offensive comment? Yes, undoubtedly, but the next question is this: when the comment was made who actually took offence? The answer is simple – when Marler uttered the words “Gypsy Boy” the only person who heard them and who might have been offended was Samson Lee, who subsequently accepted Marler’s apology at half time.
All those who have since come out of the woodwork claiming to have been offended have done so on the basis of media reports of what happened. They did not hear the comments. Ergo they could not have been offended by them.
Marler's comments were idiotic, offensive and unpalatable but he has accepted that what he said was unacceptable, has apologised and has been reprimanded, while Samson Lee has behaved with great dignity and grace in accepting Marler’s apology.
All very grown up and, dare I say it, common sense appears to have prevailed.