Crusaders star racially abused
August 4, 2014
Nemani Nadolo says he was racially abused upon his return to Christchurch
Crusaders star wing Nemani Nadolo has spoken on Twitter of being racially abused on his return to Christchurch following the Crusaders' Super Rugby grand final loss to New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Fijian-born star was outstanding for the Crusaders throughout the Super Rugby season, scoring 12-tries in the season, and he bagged a double in grand final, but is believed to have been racially abused when out drinking with team-mates in Christchurch on Sunday night.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said Nadolo didn't tell anybody about the abuse at the time but went straight home, from where he tweeted about 2.50am.
"It was just an idiot, someone from the general public made some pretty degrading and derogatory racial slurs," Blackadder said. "It's always really disappointing. These things really hurt and shouldn't be condoned or tolerated by anyone."
Blackadder says Nadolo's decision not to react or tell his team-mates reflected well on him, as the incident potentially could have escalated otherwise. He said Nadolo had moved on and had forgiven his abuser.
Former Blues player Ben Atiga replied on Twitter that "one of my first outings there was quite similar", but Blackadder said the abuser's views and actions weren't typical.
"You'd find 99.99 per cent of our city and our fans would never use that language, or tolerate it," he said. "These comments do not reflect the wonderful people of Canterbury and Christchurch."
Nadolo has since received a flood of support from fans through Twitter, and he later tweeted thanking fans for their response and support following the incident.
New Zealand Rugby Players' Association chief executive Rob Nichol told Fairfax Media Nadolo was meeting Crusaders management about the incident.
"He's got good support right now," Nichol said.
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