Fiji Sports

Super Rugby – Nadolo Hurt by Racial Slur

Crusader and Flying Fijians star Nemani Nadolo faced an unfortunate backlash in the wake of his side’s loss in the Super Rugby final against the New South Wales Waratahs last
05 Aug 2014 08:34

Crusader and Flying Fijians star Nemani Nadolo faced an unfortunate backlash in the wake of his side’s loss in the Super Rugby final against the New South Wales Waratahs last Saturday.
According to Rugby Heaven, the towering rugger was at a Christchurch bar with teammates on Sunday night when he was approached by a group of fellow punters and one of them used a racial slur against him. Nadolo took to social network site Twitter to vent his frustration, tweeting at 2.48am yesterday his offense at such treatment, citing his disappointment at the language used.
“After all I’ve done to contribute to tis lovely city of Christchurch to be called a UNFIT CHUBBY N**** is disappointing. [sic].”
In the wake of the tweet, Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder spoke out, saying such behaviour should not ruin the end of a successful season for the big Fijian.
“The actions of a ‘stupid’ lone drunkard who racially abused Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo were an anomaly that should not tarnish his great season. He was obviously upset by it and no one should have to tolerate that,” he said.
“It’s just disgraceful to say that you must be stupid or ignorant. It shouldn’t reflect on everyone,” he added.
Blackadder commended Nadolo for not reacting or escalating the situation by telling his teammates.
“Nadolo did not react or even tell his teammates, who did not hear the slur. If he had, the incident might have escalated. It just shows what a great man he is. He has forgiven the guy in himself.”
Blackadder said Nadolo did not plan on taking any further action and said it was regrettable such action was getting coverage.
“They played the final for all of us and for them to come home to this shouldn’t tarnish an amazing season for Nemani. I have never witnessed this type of racism. This is an anomaly.
“It was regrettable such an action was getting coverage. These people who do this have no respect for themselves otherwise they would never say it.”
A Crusaders spokesperson said management was looking into what happened but was not ready to give any comment.
Since Nadolo’s tweet, there has been an outpouring of support for him as well as disgust at the incident.
Former Auckland Blues player Ben Atiga said he was disgusted but “not surprised” by the abuse.
“One of my first outings there was quite similar”.
Sports presenter Andrew Mulligan said Christchurch and Canterbury had some “truly awful fans”.
“So bad. Just revolting.”
Rugby league great Monty Betham said the comment represented the “blinded minority”.
“New Zealand loves you. You’re the man and started the Crusader resurgence this year.”
In addition, the administrators of Nadolo’s Facebook fan page posted their own message of solidarity with their idol.
“I am disgusted and sickened to hear the racial abuse that Nemani received returning to New Zealand! There are a lot of horrible people in this world. The worst thing of all is racism and should be stopped. The person or persons who abused Nemani should be locked up in jail with the key thrown away. Disgusting behaviour. Nemani don’t let lowlife people bring you down and upset you, you’re much better than them in every way. You’re an amazing person and your respected and loved by many people and by your fans especially here on this page. We are all here for you big guy and we love and support you.”
New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association chief executive officer Rob Nichol told Fairfax Nadolo was meeting with Crusaders management about the incident.
“He’s got good support right now. While the full background to the tweet had yet to be investigated, generally racial abuse was not a regular occurrence,” he said.
Racial harassment and the incitement of racial disharmony are unlawful under the Human Rights Act.
The incitement of racial disharmony is an offence punishable by up to three months in prison or a fine by up to $7000.
Meanwhile, the powerhouse winger had since tweeted yesterday afternoon his appreciation for the support and that he had moved on from the unfortunate incident.
“Thank u 2 all 4 the kind tweets. whatever has been said is said. I’m just blessed 2 b here. not gonna let one person ruin it. [sic].”
The 26-year-old had been a pivotal part of the Crusaders’ 2014 Super Rugby campaign, scoring 12 tries in 14 matches. Nadolo was also a key figure in Fiji’s successful June tests series with Tonga and Samoa as well as the 2015 World Cup qualifier against the Cook Islands.
Feedback: sportsdesk@fijisun.com.fj




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