The Human Rights Commission welcomes Canterbury Rugby Football Union’s move to penalise a Canterbury rugby for 40 weeks after making racist remarks to a Fijian player on the opposing team.
The union announced on July 7 that Waihora club player Bronson Munro was suspended after being found guilty of ‘Acts or Statements that are discriminatory by reason of Religion, Race, Sex or National or Ethnic origin' when he called
Southbridge opponent Peni Manumanuiliwa a “black c***” during a game between the two teams on June 11.
Stuff.co.nz reported Munro allegedly made the racist remark after Manumanuniliwa was penalised for a high tackle.
“Racism has no place on our rugby fields,” says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy who says the commission welcomes the leadership shown by Canterbury Rugby.
“This is not an isolated incident. It’s been a difficult couple of years for player Peni Manumanuiliwa who along with others have had the courage to go public about the racial abuse they’ve been facing on the field and off. Players deserve a fair go, no one should have to put up with this.”
Canterbury Rugby's general manager community rugby, Tim Gilkison, said the suspension is at the serious end of the sanction available to the committee.
"Munro has been suspended from all rugby matches, including any on-field activities, until 31 May 2017.”
Waihora Rugby Club has also been put on notice with respect to conduct by players and spectators at any future rugby games.
“We need to put a stake in the ground as a sports loving nation and refuse to let racial abuse and side-line abuse become embedded in our sporting codes,” says Dame Susan.
“The overwhelming majority of us are better than that. We all need to be prepared to stand up to that offensive spectator or player: it shouldn’t just be up to the referee.”
“We’d like to thank Peni, Chris McMillan from Southbridge Rugby and others like them who make a stand, even when it’s difficult to do so.”