Players from the Crusaders rugby team (including All Black George Bridge) have been accused of intimidating and homophobic behaviour at a McDonald’s following their 19-19 draw in Cape Town, an accusation that Crusaders management are refuting.
According to reports, the incident took place at the McDonalds restaurant in Long Street in the early hours of Sunday morning after the teams draw with the Stormers.
Taking to social media, Alexandros Paterimos, claimed that he and a group of friends “were met with jeers and sniggers” from three members of the Crusaders rugby team who started filming them on a cell phone.
The players were allegedly asked by the group why they were filming them, to which they reportedly replied that the friends “look funny.”
According to Paterimos, the team members also allegedly physically intimidated the group, threatened them and made homophobic slurs, including displaying limp wrists and talking in high pitched voices.
A brief video of an altercation was also posted online, apparently after Paterimos started filming the Crusaders team members in return. It’s also claimed by Paterimos that at one point, security had to intervene.
In a statement, the Crusaders have denied that any such homophobia took place, however, have stopped short of denying that an incident took place.
“The three players, team management and the South African-based security advisor with them, strongly refute the socialised account of what happened. They are devastated by the allegation and the implication of homophobic behaviour.”
BNZ Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge has also made comment following the incident saying, “This is an organisation that is committed to inclusivity and is proud to have earned the Rainbow Tick certification. That is what makes these allegations particularly distressing.”
“Given the serious nature of these allegations I will be meeting with the team management and players on their return to Christchurch, however, I am confident in the account that we have received from the team and the security advisor who was present,” Mansbridge says.
Paterimos who was sent a direct message from the Crusaders rugby team via Instagram, asking for evidence of such an altercation, is said to be requesting the CCTV footage from the McDonalds to prove his account of the incident.
Following the homophobic accusations, the teams Instagram page has been flooded with anti-homophobia messaging, and accusations of comments being deleted comments.
Last night express reached out to both Alexandros and the Crusaders for comment but to date, no reply has been received.