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New Zealand v France
Homophobic 'morons' tarnish All Blacks Test
ESPN Staff
June 18, 2013
New Zealand and France players pack in a scrum, New Zealand v France,  Eden Park, Auckland,
A row has erupted after an incident among spectators © Getty Images
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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.
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