Superbangbang sends 'wrong message'

Has rugby promotion become oversexualised? Photo / Photosport
Has rugby promotion become oversexualised? Photo / Photosport

Victims' advocate Louise Nicholas last night called for rugby bosses to scrap booze-fuelled end of season sessions and punish misbehaving players with suspensions.

"Celebrating with a blow out is fine, but why aren't they celebrating with their families," Nicholas said.

"The sad reality is that there is a group of guys and alcohol - and then bringing in a stripper, they over-step the boundaries."

Nicholas said New Zealand Rugby needed to "step outside the square" and look at how it could support players and end the culture of sexually charged and harmful drinking.

"They may have their code of conduct but what is there around social behaviour?" Nicholas asked.

New Zealand Rugby is investigating the stripper's claims, and those of a second stripper who said she was abused at a function last year.

Nicholas said there should be stand-downs if the investigation found players were in the wrong, and she wanted change from management through to marketing and players.

The Super Rugby promotion #Superbangbang was sexualised when it didn't need to be, she said.

The video features top Kiwi choreographer Parris Goebel and her dance crew performing to the Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and Ariana Grande song Bang Bang, which has sexual lyrics.

"There you go again - the Rugby Union are promoting Super Rugby, it's a catchy song and the dancers are amazing but why overstep the mark again by having women dancing on top of men?

"Our young girls are watching this, our up and coming players are watching this.

"They could have made it really cool with the amazing dancers and a catchy song but they just take it too far."

Kathryn McPhillips from Auckland sexual abuse support service Help said the #superbangbang title was not a good look for a family-focused organisation.

"The promotion is a family thing, it gets kids involved so it is not appropriate for it to use a song like that."

- Herald on Sunday

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