New Zealand

All Blacks issue apology after backlash over International Women’s Day tribute | New Zealand national rugby union team

The All Blacks have apologized for a “tone-deaf” International Women’s Day social media post that praised the team’s wives for their support and featured a player who assaulted his female partner.

The team issued an apology, admitting “we didn’t quite understand”, following an international backlash against the original post, which focused on women in supporting roles, rather than to celebrate New Zealand’s women’s rugby teams.

The Black Ferns are reigning world champions and have won five of the last six Women’s World Cups, while the national sevens team, the Black Ferns Sevens, have won the last two World Cups and are the current Olympic champions and the Commonwealth.

“Forever grateful to all the women in our lives who allow us to play the game we love. Partners, mothers, daughters, doctors, physios, referees, administrators and fans. I appreciate you everyday,” reads the original caption.

“Why is International Women’s Day necessary? It’s here,” former England international Katherine Merchant tweeted. “The Black Ferns are the current world champions, but this post chooses to ignore their existence and give credit to the women who ‘enable’ the men to play.”

“Probably the dumbest tweet I think I’ve ever seen,” another user said.

“Okay. I didn’t feel like supporting your women’s team,” said England cricketer, Sarah Taylor.

The tribute featured a photo of All Blacks player Sevu Reece, who admitted assaulting his partner while drunk in 2018. Reece received a discharge without conviction after lawyers argued that a conviction would jeopardize his career. The judge noted that Reece had been sober for three months, had shown remorse and appeared to have been forgiven by his partner.

The photo also featured All Black Aaron Smith, who was suspended for one game and issued a tearful public apology for a meeting with the toilets of the airport with a “friend”, who was condemned at the time as embarrassing by then Prime Minister John Key.

The original tribute was deleted from social media and the All Blacks posted an apology which read: “We have stopped, listened and agreed. We didn’t do it right with our celebration of International Women’s Day and we apologize for that.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Rugby tweeted its first apology saying its intention was “to portray the many roles women have in our game”.

“We didn’t fully understand and we apologize for that,” NZR said. “All of our rugby whānau are so proud of our Black Ferns and all our wāhine, in all they do on and off the pitch.”

All Blacks issue apology after backlash over International Women’s Day tribute | New Zealand national rugby union team

Source link All Blacks issue apology after backlash over International Women’s Day tribute | New Zealand national rugby union team

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