Seldom do I feel compelled to revisit a subject in my columns but today is justified on the matter pertaining to logos and sponsorship in the sporting landscape.

To reiterate my point from last week, it is, at face value, commendable for Sonny Bill Williams to use the "conscientious objection" clause to spurn any advances to become a running billboard for commercial interests that fly in the face of his Muslim faith.

My beef was, and still is, with SBW's grasp of and commitment to his religion because there are so many things about Super Rugby that go against the grain of what constitutes a devout Muslim.

If he were to adhere to those principles he would have to take a leaf or two out of the life of British musician Cat Stevens (born Steven Demetre Georgiou) who converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf Islam in 1978 and divorced himself from his musical career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the community.


Again, my argument is how Allah may feel about blessing the cotton socks of anyone purporting to selectively champion religious values that suit personal agendas.

Oh, and the issue isn't a storm in a teacup for those trying to trivialise it.

The exposure of the conscientious objection clause, as part of the New Zealand Rugby Union contractual obligations, fundamentally questions any player's stance on anything, such as sporting logos products contributing to obesity, alcoholism and other such detrimental afflictions. It's also a tick to individual rights over how much muscle money can flex in the professional arena.

Religion is a potent ingredient for any cocktail - sport, politics, education, science and, dare I say it, other religions.

Today my preoccupation is with an issue that doesn't openly flirt with religion or sponsorship as such and, for crying out loud, has no relation to SBW except for the superficial action of applying a strapping tape to symbolise how frayed an already fractured parent organisation the National Basketball League (NBL) is.

Okay so the dissidents call themselves the Wellington Saints and a prophet, Josh Duinker, is at the centre of all the kerfuffle of a cover-the-logo protest against Basketball New Zealand (The NBL's previous sponsors must be wishing now they hadn't switched allegiances to netball this winter with the impending mileage as Saints intend to continue the protest).

Hey, I get it. It's still uncanny how the acronym BNZ is applicable to the SBW saga even though the sporting body prefers to bounce with BBNZ.

The Kevin Braswell-coached defending champions made a statement against BBNZ in their eight-on-the trot victory over the Canterbury Rams in Wellington on Monday.

Braswell is seething that BBNZ has reclassified Australian-born, NZ passport-toting power forward Duinker as an import after he turned out as a homeboy in the first six NBL outings.

But here's the catch. Duinker represented the Netherlands in 2013, thus falling foul of the Fiba laws that state he is ineligible to pull on a Tall Blacks tank top and oversized shorts.

I agree that BBNZ has committed a shot-clock violation in allowing him to play for the Nelson Giants in 2015 while missing Duinker going Dutch.

You see, the whole saga is a comedy of administrative blunders akin to New Zealand Football's disqualification from Rio Olympics over eligibility rules pertaining to South Africa-born Deklan Wynne last year.

Consequently the onus is on the Saints and the Giants to do their homework to ensure players fulfil eligibility criteria.

What is more unbelievable than Duinker holding an NZ passport but playing as an import is how he relegated this country as his last preference. He had the choice to play for his birth country of Australia, father's birth country the Netherlands or as a naturalised citizen through his Kiwi mother.

This is a bloke who embraced New Zealand on turning 16, represented age-group Australia in a Fiba competition after turning 18 and then went Dutch.

If there's one thing Duinker has in common with SBW is that he's all about putting himself first. For that reason take a bow BBNZ.

To hark back to players of dual nationality, such as former Hawks forward Adrian Majstrovich and Luke Martin, is grasping at straws because old oversights shouldn't be a reason to open eligibility to recurring abuse.

The other burning question is if the Saints are culpable then shouldn't their points from six matches be docked?

No one likes to benefit off the court but rules are made to be followed so if the Saints continue to mask the logo then BBNZ should go for the jugular.

For Braswell to deflect attention on the Rams' "five imports" because of their three Oceania players is tantamount to a cheap shot from a franchise that is cash rich.

Pacific Island players are New Zealand and Australia's conscience of neglect, not just in basketball but any code, not to mention rugby.

Would the Saints like to list how many "locals" they have developed in the past few decades as opposed to enticing other Kiwis at the expense of Wellington-bred talent?

Get behind the parent body because the code's survival in this part of the world depends on solidarity despite Duinker's dilemma.