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Sonny Bill Williams Will Wear A “Special” Blues Jersey After Taping Over Sponsors

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 08: Sonny Bill Williams of the Blues looks on during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Blues on April 8, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

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.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11:  Sonny Bill Williams (C) warms up during an Auckland Blues Super Rugby training session at Eden Park on April 11, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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.

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Author: The PA Team

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