An English rugby star pulled one of the oldest gags in the book by giving someone a set of "bunny ears" during a team photo. The only problem is that someone happened to be David Cameron — the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Manu Tuilagi's childish prank outside No 10 Downing Street Monday appears to be attracting a wave of indignation and calls for his suspension— which many claim is ridiculous.
Although Tuilagi's schoolyard gesture is akin to photobombing someone with the stature of let's say oh ... the President of the United States in front of the White House, his mischievous move is still pretty funny.
The Leicester and England center was with his fellow Lions, meeting the Prime Minister in the aftermath of their successful tour of Australia. When posing for pictures, the Samoan prankster— who infamously jumped off a ferry in Auckland harbor as part of a joke after England had fallen out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup — could be seen reaching behind Cameron’s back and putting two fingers above his head.
The whimsical gesture has many Brits harrumphing over their tea and crumpets but most find it to be a harmless, albeit ill-timed, joke. The Daily Mail wrote:
What he did was juvenile, granted. It was also ill-advised in such a high-profile setting, while he was on an official visit, among the elite group of British and Irish rugby talent. Bearing in mind his harbour dive in Auckland at the last World Cup, it was also rash in presenting his detractors with another stick to beat him with.
But let’s be clear about this; Tuilagi would not have meant to cause offence or make a statement of any kind. He wouldn’t have been trying to belittle Mr Cameron and he certainly wouldn’t have had a political agenda! In his mind, this would have been a variation on the school-team photo, when invariably one player or other will pull a face or make a comic – but harmless – gesture.
Eight years ago, an England cricketer visiting No 10 relieved himself in the garden and the morally righteous didn’t have him drummed out of that sport.
Tuilagi has since apologized.