New Zealand’s All Blacks have now issued an apology for a controversial social media post made in support of International Women’s Day. The post applauded the wives of the team’s players for their support, but at the same time also featured a player who had assaulted his partner.
An international backlash has now prompted the team to admit to having gotten it wrong by suggesting women belonged in supporting roles. Instead, the post should have been acknowledging the country’s women’s rugby union teams, said the All Blacks.
New Zealand’s Black Ferns are the current world champions, and a team that has won five of its last six Women’s World Cups. The country’s seven’s team, meanwhile, are the current reigning Olympic and Commonwealth victors. They’ve won their last two World Cups.
According to former England international Katherine Merchant, who took to Twitter to bemoan the situation this week, a post such as the one placed by the All Blacks is the exact reason why the world needs an International Women’s Day. She said instead of celebrating the Black Ferns as world champions, the post completely ignored their existence and instead, congratulated those women who “allowed” their husbands and partners to play the game.
But perhaps the most contentious aspect about the post is that it featured Aaron Smith, the All Blacks player suspended over an encounter with a female “friend” at an airport toilet.
New Zealand Rugby on Wednesday tweeted their own apology for the post, saying that the true intent had been to portray the many roles fulfilled by women in the sport.
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