All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, in his first game of XV’s rugby in almost 18 months, caused controversy on Saturday.
Due to his Muslim beliefs, he taped over the Bank of New Zealand logo on his shirt and rolled up his sleeves to block an Investec ad. New Zealand rugby released a statement which explained that:
“Sonny Bill Williams has conscientious objections to promoting tobacco, alcohol, finance companies and gambling.”
Williams converted to Islam while playing for Toulon in 2008.
According to the NZ Herald, the dispute is close to being resolved and the 31-year-old will now wear a “special” jersey with the logos of BNZ and asset management group Investec removed.
The former boxer trained in a hoodie this week that didn’t bear the name of any of the sponsors.
NZ Rugby has confirmed that all of the country’s professional rugby players have a clause in their collective contracts allowing them to opt out of promoting finance companies, banks, alcohol companies, tobacco companies and gambling companies.
Williams competed at the 2016 Olympic Games with the New Zealand sevens side. He, unfortunately, picked up a nasty achilles injury that cut his tournament short. Fiji ran out eventual winners of the gold medal.
Read More About: 2017 Lions tour to New Zealand, All Blacks, Blues, British and Irish lions, British and Irish Lions Tour, Lions, lions latest, lions news, lions tour, Lions tour 2017, new zealand, Rugby, rugby news, rugby union news, Sonny Bill Williams, steve hansen, supper rugby, warren gatland