Lions rugby fans harass young girls | The Jackal

6 Jul 2017

Lions rugby fans harass young girls

It’s unfortunate when sports fans live up to their stereotypical selves and give rugby a bad name. It makes enjoying sport so much harder for the rest of us when drunken idiots are out and about actively wrecking events for other people.

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

Teen girls sexually harassed by rugby fans

HighJinx's next performance has been cancelled after its teenage members were sexually harassed by rugby fans in Auckland.

A young all-female dance group were sexually harassed by rugby fans before the weekend's Lions clash against the All Blacks.

HighJinx troupe director Carlene Newall de Jesus said her performers – girls aged between 13 and 16 – were subjected to lewd comments while performing before the test series opener at Eden Park on June 24.

Grown men asked the performers to give lap dances during the girls' 90-minute performance outside Kingsland train station, she said.

One 13-year-old girl was asked how much it was "to get a handjob", she said.

Rugby supporters also asked the girls to spread their legs wider during the performance.

Maybe it's time to segregate male rugby fans away from the general public? We could have male rugby fan only areas and transport services to ensure they didn’t ruin events for other people.

The troupe, a youth company specialising in aerial and acrobatic circus, had been invited to perform by the Kingsland Business Society as part of fan entertainment.

HighJinx were set to perform again this Saturday before the test series decider at Eden Park.

However, de Jesus received an email on Wednesday from the Kingsland Business Society stating due to health and safety regulations the performance would be cancelled.

De Jesus, who first wrote about the incident in a column for The Spinoff, said that no specific health and safety regulations were cited.

"The biggest risk for the girls is the things people are saying and not the fact that they're balancing on heads."

I guess the Kingsland Business Society couldn’t well say that the barrage of sexual innuendo by rugby fans meant the second performance couldn’t go ahead. After all that would make the game and it’s supporters look bad.

What about the young girls feelings though? They’ve been verbally abused and then had their event cancelled. In effect the Kingsland Business Society is punishing the victims in this situation.

Most of the harassment came from men wearing Lions garb, she said.

Perhaps we should have male only facilities and events for visiting British louts then? We could charge them more for everything and then donate the profits to organisations like HELP.

Kingsland Business Society chairman Steve Gillett said he was unaware of the incident and said the society's manager Christine Foley was in charge of the entertainment.

Foley was unable to be reached for comment.

I bet she wasn’t. Obviously the Kingsland Business Society was aware of the harassment and that’s why they cancelled the event. They simply wouldn’t have wanted any further bad press concerning such an important game.

Strangely the Police didn’t issue a statement about the fans misconduct at the Lions vs All Blacks Auckland match like they usually do. Perhaps they too don’t want to make rugby supporters feel bad. It would be good if they at least talked to the rugby fans who made lewd comments to underage girls.

I guess when sporting events are the only thing the National party has to keep it afloat in the polls, you can bet your bottom dollar that any bad press surrounding these showcase events is going to be quashed. I wonder what happened to not mixing sport with politics though?