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Apology offered over anti-gay cricket abuse

Fri 17 Sep 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Wellington's Westpac Stadium Westpac Stadium has issued an apology after a Rainbow Wellington member complained about an outbreak of homophobic abuse during a cricket match. During the Twenty20 international between Australia and the Black Caps on 19 February, the Rainbow Wellington member says a couple of very loud men kept shouting "bunch of poofters" and "fags" at the Australian players. "They repeatedly shouted which I found to be very insulting and objectionable," she said. The woman saw warnings posted on an electronic board at the ground about racial abuse, but there was no mention about homophobic abuse. Rainbow Wellington wrote to Westpac Regional Stadium Trust Operations Manager Mark Nunn, who has recently apologised. "It is very unfortunate that your associates were subjected to this kind of behavior," he wrote. "This game in particular attracted a rather boisterous crowd and many people were evicted for abusive or racial related offences." Nunns says the stadium has a policy of discouraging abuse, and of removing patrons if they "are verbally or physically abusive, or behave in a disorderly or offensive manner". He says the group's offensive actions went unnoticed and was not reported – and has asked that if anyone experiences or witnesses homophobic abuse at the stadium in the future, that they report it on the day. Nunns says there are three security booths around the concourse to provide help and assistance where needed. "We have also introduced a new security text service this year allowing people to text their aisle, row and seat number and a brief description of the problem to 5454 to receive assistance." Rainbow Wellington is encouraging its members to take note of Nunns' points in case they witness anything similar.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 17th September 2010 - 8:47am

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