Dublin hurler Liam Rushe admits he “underestimated how traditional the GAA is” after his choice of footwear caused a minor storm on two weekends ago, writes Brendan O’Brien of the Irish Examiner.
The 26-year old wore a special ankle sock to counter the pain of feet blistered by a new pair of boots but the absence of the familiar county sock rolled around the ankles was greeted with a mixture of horror and anger on social media.
“It was great craic,” said the player at an Aer Lingus event to promote the airline’s autumn transatlantic offers. “I’d underestimated how traditional the GAA still was. I’m going to have to stick with it now though. Make the statement, make the stand, keep it going.”
He’s joking, obviously, but the speed of onlookers rushing to judgement - no pun intended - for what was mistakenly perceived to be a fashion statement during Dublin’s Leinster Championship game against Galway was instructive.
“I just felt like a woman in Saudi Arabia or something, flashing a bit of ankle,” Rushe laughed on Wednesday afternoon. “There was uproar over it.”
As for his feet? Much better now, thank you.
The problem arose when he wore a new pair of boots for the county’s relegation play-off against Clare in Ennis at the start of April. He had to take a taxi to work for a week afterwards due to blood blisters and they still weren’t healed by the time they met Galway in Tullamore at the end of May.
“My other ones burst and there was only a week (until the Clare game) so I’d just had two light sessions to wear them and go. The pitch (in Ennis) had just hardened up.
“We’d played on it two weeks previously and it was kind of soft. We went down then and it was rock hard and my mouldies had gone the week before. That was it. I wasn’t making a fashion statement or anything.”