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February 25, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Criticism and Apology For Removal of Anti-Sexual Violence Signs at Cricket

Anti-sexual assault crowd signs targeting Black Cap Scott Kuggeleijn have caused a stir at two Twenty20 International cricket matches this month.

A sign which stated “no means no” was removed by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Westpac Stadium at a Wellington Twenty20 International match on February 6.  

At a second Twenty20 International match at Auckland’s Eden Park on February 8, audience member Madeleine Chapman was asked to take down her anti-sexual assault banner because it was covering sponsorship signage.

Chapman said the sign was directed at people who “needed a reminder about ongoing consent.”

She said the removal of the original sign in Wellington “ironically helped spread the message” about ongoing consent.

In February 2017, Kuggeleijn was found not guilty for the rape of a woman in 2015. Shortly after the retrial, he was selected to start playing for the Black Caps.

His selection and NZC’s subsequent silence on the issue drew criticism.

However, NZC Public Affairs Manager Richard Boock told Stuff they were apologetic for removing the sign at Westpac Stadium.

“We agree the course taken was an over-reaction and unnecessary, and the sign certainly wasn’t offensive.”

“We’ll be having a chat about it in our debrief with a view to making sure that doesn’t happen again, and we’re sorry,” said Boock.

Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson told the New Zealand Herald that NZC should speak up about people’s frustrations around Kuggeleijn.

“In my opinion, it is vital that all sports bodies are clear about their responses when conduct by their elite and contracted players goes against the values they seek to uphold.”

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