Ki­wis in­ves­ti­gate sex­ism

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

NEW Zealand Rugby (NZR) yes­ter­day named a high-pow­ered panel to ex­am­ine sex­ism in the game fol­low­ing re­cent scan­dals.

The so-called “re­spect and re­spon­si­bil­ity re­view” will look at how to change rugby’s ma­cho cul­ture and make it more in­clu­sive.

“In the same way that rugby seeks to do bet­ter on the field, we must con­stantly seek ways to im­prove off the field,” NZR chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Tew said.

The sport­ing body acted amid grow­ing pub­lic dis­quiet over the offfield an­tics of rugby play­ers and NZR’s han­dling of the in­ci­dents.

Pun­dits have la­belled it the “sea­son from hell” for the NZR, tar­nish­ing the im­age of a sport which is viewed with al­most re­li­gious fer­vour in New Zealand.

Re­cent in­ci­dents in­clude a strip­per who al­leged she was groped and de­meaned dur­ing a Waikato Chiefs’ player func­tion. An in­ter­nal NZR re­view cast doubt on her story and cleared the play­ers but women’s groups said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion blam­ing.

Then it emerged a teenage rugby star es­caped con­vic­tion after vi­ciously as­sault­ing four peo­ple, in­clud­ing two women, in an un­pro­voked at­tack on a Welling­ton street.

NZR ini­tially stood by the player be­fore mak­ing a clumsy U-turn and agree­ing to ter­mi­nate his con­tract amid a mas­sive pub­lic backlash.

Just as the furore was dy­ing down, the All Blacks were forced to dis­ci­pline half-back Aaron Smith over a tryst with a mys­tery woman in a dis­abled toi­let cu­bi­cle at busy Christchurch Air­port.

The nine-per­son re­view panel will be chaired by NZ Law So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Kathryn Beck and also in­cludes for­mer World Anti-Dop­ing Agency chief David How­man.

Ath­letes on the panel in­clude for­mer All Blacks Keven Mealamu and Michael Jones, along with two-time Olympic kayak cham­pion Lisa Car­ring­ton.

It is ex­pected to re­port back to NZR by April next year. – smacked of vic­tim

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