20 May 2019

Crusaders players accused of homophobia in South Africa

11:13 pm on 20 May 2019

Some members of the Crusaders rugby team have been accused of homophobic behaviour while on tour in South Africa.

Fans during Super Rugby match Crusaders v Brumbies, at Christchurch Stadium.

Photo: Photosport

The accusations levelled at some of the team have appeared on a number of social media platforms and include that one team member spat beer on a woman.

Another claims to have been part of a group "attacked by members of the New Zealand rugby team" while in a McDonald's restaurant.

The tweet accuses the team of displaying threatening and homophobic behaviour.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said they had were aware of the allegations involving some of players while in Cape Town.

Image of Instagram story showing Crusaders requesting the accusers to give a full account and any evidence they had.

Photo: Instagram / Alxethelion

"The original post claimed players exhibited homophobic behaviour.

"The three players, team management and the South African-based security advisor with them, strongly refute the socialised account of what happened.

"They are devastated by the allegation and the implication of homophobic behaviour."

Mr Mansbridge said the Crusaders was an organisation committed to inclusivity and is proud to have earned the Rainbow Tick certification.

"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."

The team is on its way back to Christchurch and is expected to land at midnight before meeting management on Tuesday.

An Instagram story from a South African man accusing the Crusaders players appears to show the team asking for a full account of the incident and any supporting evidence.

In a response, it appears that the man the Crusaders is attempting to obtain surveillance footage of the alleged incident from the McDonalds restaurant where it is said to have taken place.

He says the video footage will prove the claims are true.