Public backlash over All Black Aaron Smith's toilet tryst

The public backlash has started against disgraced All Black Aaron Smith saying his toilet antics with a woman threatens to damage the team's reputation.

Hundreds of exasperated fans have taken to social media including Smith's personal accounts after he was sent home South Africa for a sexual liaison with a woman in a Christchurch Airport toilet cubicle.

It was revealed this morning the 27-year-old halfback had an encounter with a woman the day after the test against the Springboks in Christchurch three weeks ago. A witness said there was no question what the pair were up to.

Many fans are offering Smith no support, including some of New Zealand's most prominent women.

"No excuse!! Management cannot simply condone that behaviour by ignoring it.

"You're an NZ A.B what little kids aspire to be, and when your hard work finally lands you the almighty, coveted jersey, you conduct yourself by the rules of engagement on and off the field," posted Heather Eagleson on the All Black's Facebook page.

"Was a fan now I'm not!" posted wrcdatnz on Smith's Instagram account.

"Show some respect. Fred Allen would think you're a muppet," posted user morksandsons.

There were even calls for Smith's punishment to be greater than a single match ban.

"Aaron Smith should be suspended. This is silly behaviour and it's not acceptable behaviour," wrote Theo Purdy.

Sexual violence victims advocate Louise Nicholas described Smith's actions as "dumb" and "irresponsible".

"The fact that Aaron and what he did in a public place in a disability toilet in front of families was just dumb and irresponsible."

"This is yet another issue the rugby family have to face again."

She praised All Black management for not condoning the situation and Smith for taking responsibility for his actions returning home to face his family.

UN Women representative Sue Kedgley said this was a clear sign the rugby union had far to go when its elite stars thought it acceptable to have a sexual liaison in an airport toilet.

"Obviously there is still a lot more work to do," said Kedgley.

Others praised the All Black management for acting quickly to protect the team's reputation.

"Good on you Steve for Stopping the All Blacks from getting a bad name. You have rules if you don't want to go by them don't become an all black. All Blacks are ambassadors for NZ and our young players coming up. Don't let your standards slip," wrote Valerie Ellis on Facebook."

A man wrote to the NZ Herald yesterday saying that he was at the airport with his wife and young children when they saw Smith "sneak" into a wheelchair access bathroom with a young woman who was not his partner.

"The pair were in the bathroom for 5-10 minutes and from the noises coming out of the bathroom there was absolutely no question what the couple were doing in there.

"Mr Smith then came out of the room on his own, straightening up his white checked shirt and black dress pants (the All Blacks uniform they were all wearing at the time).

"About a minute later the young lady comes out of the same toilet cubicle looking equally suspicious. I myself did not have a problem with this ... my wife however is protesting that this is disgusting for a public figure to do."

A South Island woman this morning denied she was the mystery female friend who left the disabled persons toilet cubicle minutes after Smith.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed Smith will face a misconduct hearing on his return to New Zealand.

All Blacks management were only made aware of the incident this week once they arrived in South Africa for their final Rugby Championship test.

"On the Sunday in Christchurch after the South African test at the Christchurch airport Aaron and a female friend were seen by members of the public to enter the disabled toilets," All Blacks coach Steven Hansen said.

"On our arrival to South Africa on Monday we were informed on this. I had a conversation with Aaron who confirmed the story. As a result of this the leadership group met and were unanimous in the fact the behaviour wasn't acceptable and as a consequence a one-match suspension would be put in place."

"Clearly Aaron is bitterly disappointed in his behaviour and feels he has let the team down but, just as importantly, he feels bitterly disappointed in letting his family and his partner down.

"At his request he has asked to go home to deal with the personal matters that have come with this incident and we are happy to support him with that."

- NZ Herald

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