New Zealand Cricket and Westpac Stadium have apologised after their decision of removing the banner which was promoting sexual consent during the first T20 International match between New Zealand and India at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The sign on the banner, which wrote “No means no”, was directed towards the 27-year-old bowling all-rounder of New Zealand, Scott Kuggeleijn, who had faced rape charges twice in 2016-17. First-time he was not being punished as the jury could not reach a decision; while the second time, he was found not a guilty in a trial.
During the trial in the Hamilton District Court, Scott Kuggeleijn admitted that the woman involved twice had said that she didn’t want to have sex with him. The 27-year-old cricketer later texted her the day after the incident to apologise.
Life comes a full circle for Scott Kuggeleijn, who is making his NZ debut today… Just two years ago, he was embroiled in a rape case controversy, but has managed to stay focused on his cricket. Hope he has a long & successful international career. #NZvSLhttps://t.co/TvpARv2ueO
— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) January 11, 2019
Many questions, as well as criticism, have sparked outrage for his selection in New Zealand squad for the T20 International matches. The woman who took the banner told Stuff that they had an extremely ‘uncomfortable’ experience.
“My friends and I were surrounded by multiple security guards. It was a very uncomfortable experience,” stuff.co.nz quoted the woman as she saying.
“They acknowledge they didn’t do the right thing in this instance and are committed to ensuring it won’t happen in future. I’m really heartened by how responsive they’ve been and hope everyone can have a fun, safe time at cricket in the Cake Tin in future,” she said.
“No means no, and that’s a message everyone should be able to stand by,” the woman further added.
However, New Zealand Cricket and stadium management have apologised for their action and public affairs manager Richard Boock said NZME that the decision to remove the banner was a mistake.
“We agree the course taken was an over-reaction and unnecessary, and the sign certainly wasn’t offensive,” said New Zealand Cricket public affairs manager Richard Boock.
“NZC has a venue policy that does not allow the targeting of players – but policies are guidelines; they’re not written in stone, and we should have shown better judgement and exercised more discretion,” Richard Boock said.
“We apologise unreservedly and will be discussing this in our debrief with a view to avoiding similar mistakes in the future,” Boock further added.
Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon, however, agreed to meet with the woman. He was due to meet with her and apologise officially on Thursday.
“In hindsight, this was an over-reaction and we should not have taken that course of action,” Shane Harmon told Stuff.
Kuggeleijn scored twenty runs from seven balls in New Zealand’s record 80-run victory against India, but he failed to impress with the ball, gave thirty-four runs from his two overs.
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