The Wellington Saints have made a curious protest in the National Basketball League.

The Saints taped over the official NBL logo on their uniform during their game against the Canterbury Rams, as a protest against the official league ruling which changed the status of Saints forward Josh Duinker from a local player to an import.

It is a move which follows Sonny Bill Williams' decision to tape over the BNZ logo on his Blues jersey last week. Williams' stance was a conscientious objection to a sponsor due to his religion, while the Saints have gone up against NBL management due to their frustration about how Duinker's situation was handled.

Duinker, who was born in Australia and had played international basketball for the Netherlands, played the 2015 season with the Nelson Giants as a local due to his Kiwi mother and Kiwi passport, and was initially signed by the Saints to play as a naturalised local player.

Advertisement

However, a ruling last week changed his status to an import after the NBL adjudged that anyone ineligible to play for the Tall Blacks can not play as a local in the league, meaning Duinker's Netherlands appearances disqualified him from appearing as a local.

Saints coach Kevin Braswell expressed his frustration that Duinker was unable to play as a local while other sides could play Oceania players as locals under a different league ruling.

Braswell told the Herald that the Saints' protest could be more than a one-off stand.

"We might do it the rest of the year, I don't know, it is just more of a frustration with the Josh Duinker rule. It's frustrating to have a guy here who is a natural Kiwi, not even being able to play as a Kiwi, it just blows my mind.

"I look at the Canterbury team right now and half of them are imports playing as locals.

"It's something we can't do much about and we can't go over BBNZ but at the same time, if that's where the NBL is going to stand - if that's the rules they're going to make and they're not going to appeal it or overturn it - then we're justified with the tape."

The Saints beat the Rams 102-79 to move to 8-0 on the season.