New Zealand-based rugby team the Crusaders have been accused of recording, mocking and hurling homophobic slurs at a group of patrons in McDonalds on Long Street on Saturday May 18. The incident occurred after the Crusaders game against the Stormers in Cape Town on the same day while the players were ordering food at the outlet. The patrons’ accounts of the event have circulated on social media and has caused a widespread furore.

A screenshot of one of the patrons’ statements about the incident was posted on Twitter.

“We were attacked by members of the New Zealand rugby team in the McDonald’s on Long/ Kloof st last night. As we entered, we were met with jeering and sniggers from them. They then proceeded to record us as a joke. When catching them in the act, they told us they did it because we looked funny to them,” the statement reads.

After a heated argument around recording others in public against their will, the patrons began recording a member of the Crusaders entourage, who then lashed out.

Following the widespread attention the incident has received on social media, the Crusaders have today released a statement on their Twitter page denying that the three team members, team management and security personal made homophobic slurs.

“Allegations have been made via social media that there was a verbal altercation between members of the public and some Crusaders players who were getting food after the match against the Stormers in Cape Town.

The three players, team management and the South African security advisor with them strongly refute the account of what happened. They are devastated by the allegations and the implications of homophobic behaviour,” the team’s statement reads.

In a statement CEO of the Crusaders Colin Mansbridge said, “This is an organisation that is committed to inclusivity and is proud to have earned the Rainbow Tick certification. That is what makes these allegations particularly distressing.

“Given the serious nature of these allegations I will be meeting with the team management and players on their return to Christchurch, however I am confident in the account that we have received from the team and the security advisor who was present.”


Image: Twitter

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