Sonny Bill Williams has signed with NZ Rugby and the Blues until the end of 2019. It comes as NZ Rugby and other sporting codes are looking to target greater inclusion in sport regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability.
The new Blues' dynamic duo faced off today and Sonny Bill Williams is heading to Auckland.
“All my family is in Auckland, I grew up in Auckland, I'm from Auckland so it kind of helped with that decision,” says Williams.
In the two biggest sports stories today, Sonny Bill Williams has signed with NZ Rugby and the Blues for a further three years.
A strategic plan released by NZ Rugby, in conjunction with other national sporting bodies, is promoting the equality of all people in sport.
NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew says, “From a racial perspective, we've got a very deep history for our Māori players and there's no questioning the contribution that at a community and international level that our Pacific Island players make.”
The initiative titled, #sportforeveryone, is an approach to target greater inclusion regardless of gender, race, ability and sexual orientation.
“Are we ready for a gay All Black? I certainly think we are, but there has to be one.” Says Tew.
LBGT sports advocate Louisa Wall says, “Probably in our history we have had gay All Blacks. The reality is we haven't had somebody who has been able to come out, and it's not about them it's about the environment.”
A former Silver Fern and Black Fern, Wall agrees with the newest rugby initiative.
“In fact, we have had gay men play rugby, Gareth Thomas obviously played for Wales, in rugby league we've had Ian Roberts for Manly, you know, anyone try and take him on,” says Wall.
Returning back to league. Williams could not resist the urge to weigh in on the biggest sporting debate in Māoridom at present.
“Bro I grew up as a Queenslander, Queensland supporter I must admit, but when I went over there I done my trade in New South Wales, and I wasn't going to turn down a free trip to Brisbane to play before the State of Origin when I was a sixteen-year-old,” says Williams.
Now it's hoped Williams can lead the charge in a blue jersey of his own in the years to come.