Crusaders deny making 'homophobic slurs' at McDonalds in Cape Town
Crusaders rugby team management has refuted allegations that players taunted a group of men with “homophobic slurs, limp wrists and high pitched voices” after their match against the Stormers in Cape Town.
The New Zealand team's players were accused on social media of recording and mocking patrons while ordering food at McDonalds in Long Street.
One version of events, posted in a note on Twitter, claimed that a group entering the restaurant was met with "jeering and sniggers" from players.
"They then proceeded to record us as a joke ... Upon telling them that this is wrong they began physically intimidating us (coming up to our faces, telling us we better stop arguing or they will 'f...k us up if we don't watch it')."
However, management of the Crusaders said in a statement on Monday that they "strongly refute the socialised account of what happened".
"Allegations have been made via social media that there was a verbal altercation between members of the public and some Crusaders players who were out getting food after the match against the Stormers in Cape Town," said the statement.
"The original post claimed players exhibited homophobic behaviour.
"The three players, team management and the South African-based security adviser with them strongly refute the socialised account of what happened. They are devastated by the allegation and the implication of homophobic behaviour."
Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said the allegations were "particularly distressing".
"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," he said in the statement.
"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."
"After arguing that straight white men are losing power - we were met with homophobic slurs, limp wrists and high pitched voices," said an account of the incident from the offended patrons.