Homophobic 'morons' tarnish All Blacks Test
June 18, 2013
A row has erupted after an incident among spectators © Getty Images
Fans who yelled homophobic comments at players during last weekend's Test between New Zealand and France have been condemned.
A handful of spectators were heard yelling "homos" and "fagots" at French players and they then turned on others in the crowd, including women, who tried to shut them up.
"It shouldn't be condoned and she shouldn't have to put up with it," said former All Black John Kronfeld. "There's always at events some moron that spoils it for everyone else."
Former All Black captain Graham Mourie said the behaviour was a "commentary on the people doing it" adding: "They've got no class really. That sort of stuff should be unacceptable."
A spokesperson for Eden Park was quoted by Pink News as saying the men could have been thrown out of the ground but only if there was proof others had been offended. But they added that the use of homophobic slurs alone may not have been a good enough reason to get them evicted, since it wasn't the stadium's place to "be the PC police".
Politicians were, unsurprisingly, quick to jump on the bandwagon with Green Party Rainbow spokesman Kevin Hague calling on the NZRU and the All Blacks to front campaigns to wipe out homophobia in rugby.
"Ex-captain of the Wallabies David Pocock is an active supporter of marriage equality in Australia, and Ben Cohen has done the same thing in English rugby," he said. "As community leaders, our top sportspeople should step up and speak out on the importance of inclusiveness."
Labour MP Louisa Wall, who was a member of the 1998 World-Cup winning Black Ferns team, said a cultural change was needed.
NZRU spokesman Nick Brown said the board did not condone abuse adding that anyone with concerns "should alert security".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength