Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

All Blacks coach winds back on domestic violence comments

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen moved Wednesday to clarify comments he made in the wake of Sevu Reece’s controversial selection that downplayed the role of gender in domestic violence.

Hansen has vigorously defended the All Blacks’ decision to select Reece, a player who less than 12 months ago pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend in the street during an argument.

Commenting on the issue over the weekend, Hansen said that as a former police officer he had seen a lot of domestic violence and believed poor parenting was a primary cause.

“I know it’s not just restricted to males assaulting women, women assault males too,” the coach told Radio Sport.

“It’s not a gender thing, it’s a New Zealand problem.”

Critics labelled the remarks “tone deaf” and Hansen said in a statement release via New Zealand Rugby on Wednesday that he had been misinterpreted.

“Over the last few days it has become clear that my comments have come across to some people as being unsympathetic or minimising how poisonous and harmful domestic violence is for women,” he said.

“Nothing could be further from what I intended.”

He went on to acknowledge “the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women and children”.

“That’s not in dispute and is plain wrong,” he said.

However, Hansen stood by his belief that rugby had helped rehabilitate Reece and the winger deserved a chance with the world champions.

Domestic violence campaigners have questioned the 22-year-old’s right to wear the black jersey so soon after he appeared in court for attacking his girlfriend.

Reece pleaded guilty and was fined but no conviction was recorded after his lawyer argued it would derail his fledgling rugby career.

Irish side Connacht cancelled his contract and Reece also found himself unwanted by the Waikato Chiefs.

But Canterbury Crusaders handed the Fijian-born speedster a lifeline and he rewarded them with a competition-high 15 tries that helped them to win the Super Rugby title for the third year in succession.

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Mission implausible for the DA’s man in Nkandla

Malibongwe Dubazane is contesting all 14 of the IFP-run Nkandla local municipality’s wards

Andries Tatane’s spirit will drive fight against ANC in Ficksburg

The nascent Setsoto Service Delivery Forum is confident it can remove the ‘failing ANC’ in the chronically mismanaged Free State municipality

Paddy Harper: On gleeful politicians and headless chickens

Paddy Harper doesn’t know who to vote for yet, since the Dagga Party isn’t contesting his ward, but right now what to order for lunch is a more pressing concern

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×