All Blacks and Black Ferns launch diversity campaign

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 10:19AM
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The All Blacks and the Black Ferns have made a very public statement on where they stand on diversity and inclusiveness as they launched their "diversity is strength" campaign.

Pairing up with AIG, the two teams released a two-minute video outlining their values.

The next "battle" and "enemy" was devious and truly formidable, the video said.

"It is discrimination - an enemy that cannot be fought alone and must be defeated together.

"It will take more than 15 - it will take thousands - millions"

The video shows the All Black and Black Ferns squads travelling to a rugby stadium in Osaka, Japan.

Several moments in the video show the rainbow colours of the LGBT flag on the strips of the players, on jet trails, and by supporters waving the flag.

It came in the wake of a controversial homophobic comment made by Wallabies player Israel Folau three weeks ago.

Folau, who is married to Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau (nee Tutaia), came under scrutiny after replying to a question on an image posted on Instagram which showed "God's plan".

"@izzyfolau what was gods plan for gay people??" user Mike Sephton-Poultney asked.

"HELL", Folau responded. "Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God."

Folau wrote a column explaining his comments, saying he did not mean to hurt anyone but was quoting from the Bible, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10.

That verse says that "neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God".

"I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear," he said.

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