Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

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josie andrews
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Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by josie andrews » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:45 am

Sonny Bill Williams will reportedly not wear the Super League's chief sponsor on Toronto Wolfpack's jersey because of his religious beliefs.

Super League has been sponsored and named after British betting company BetFred since 2017.

Williams has joined the Wolfpack on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million and the 34-year-old could make his debut for the Super League newcomers against Castleford Tigers in Leeds on February 2.

Toronto chairman Bob Hunter told the UK's Daily Telegraph that Williams will refuse to have the betting company's logo on his jersey.

"We're in discussions with Super League about this, but Sonny has been very clear in his stance on the matter," Hunter told the Daily Telegraph.

"I think Betfred will benefit by taking the position that we respect and honour the player's religious beliefs.

"In today's society there are some very sensitive issues but I think the sponsor can say 'yes, okay, we understand this. He's a big brand and big name but we get it'."

Williams, who converted to Islam in 2009, adopted a similar stance when covering up BNZ's logo on his Blues jersey in Super Rugby in 2017.

It was his Blues debut against the Highlanders in Dunedin and Williams taped over the bank's logo on the jersey's collar.

Williams wore a unique jersey for the rest of the season with Plunket, a national non-profit organisation providing care and support for parents and pre-school children, stitched on in place of BNZ.

He said at the time: "My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs.

"While a logo on a jersey might seem like a small thing to some people, it is important to me that I do the right thing with regards to my faith and hope that people respect that."

Islam specifically objects to interest banks charge, as well as alcohol, drugs and gambling.

Hunter said the Wolfpack were still deciding how best to cover up the BetFred logo on the former All Black's jersey.

"I can't say how it will work on a practical basis, but the league [Super League] may want an alternative," Hunter told the Daily Telegraph.

"Maybe something to prop up another sponsor, but again those discussions are still to be had."

Williams played his 58th and final All Blacks test in the Rugby World Cup last November but has returned to league, six years after his last appearance in the 13-man code for Sydney Roosters in the NRL.

He joins the Wolfpack, a Canadian league club who only started competing professionally in the UK in 2017, for their first season in Super League, the northern hemisphere's elite competition with 10 English clubs and one French.

It could be the final chapter of his illustrious sporting career, which started in league with Canterbury Bulldogs, included a stint as a professional heavyweight boxer, World Cup wins with the All Blacks in 2011 and 2015, as well as NRL titles with the Bulldogs and Roosters in 2004 and 2013 respectively.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/11 ... us-beliefs
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

josie andrews
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by josie andrews » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 am

Williams has joined the Wolfpack on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million
No wonder they can’t sign anymore players?

They must be out of their mind paying that to a 34 year old who, it has been pointed out, won’t be playing several games, including against us at home, this season!
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

Wiganer Ted
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by Wiganer Ted » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:03 am

Good for him.
The UK should do like France has and ban all betting advertising.
If people want to bet there are plenty places to do it.
The betting game doesn't need to advertise.
Well Done SBW.

medlocke
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by medlocke » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:41 am

josie andrews wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 am
Williams has joined the Wolfpack on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million
No wonder they can’t sign anymore players?

They must be out of their mind paying that to a 34 year old who, it has been pointed out, won’t be playing several games, including against us at home, this season!
How come he won't play against us Josie

josie andrews
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by josie andrews » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:43 am

medlocke wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:41 am
josie andrews wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 am
Williams has joined the Wolfpack on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million
No wonder they can’t sign anymore players?

They must be out of their mind paying that to a 34 year old who, it has been pointed out, won’t be playing several games, including against us at home, this season!
How come he won't play against us Josie
Something about him going back to NZ for the birth of his child!
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

medlocke
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by medlocke » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:46 am

josie andrews wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:43 am
medlocke wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:41 am
josie andrews wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 am


No wonder they can’t sign anymore players?

They must be out of their mind paying that to a 34 year old who, it has been pointed out, won’t be playing several games, including against us at home, this season!
How come he won't play against us Josie
Something about him going back to NZ for the birth of his child!
Thanks, I thought for a minute he was refusing for some strange reason

shaunedwardsfanclub
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by shaunedwardsfanclub » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:53 pm

josie andrews wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 am
Williams has joined the Wolfpack on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million
No wonder they can’t sign anymore players?

They must be out of their mind paying that to a 34 year old who, it has been pointed out, won’t be playing several games, including against us at home, this season!
Only £150k will count against the cap though.

It is a pity he will not be appearing at the DW in the next few weeks, we need superstars in our game.
Winning is down to 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration - Shaun Edwards

josie andrews
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by josie andrews » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:34 pm

Sonny Bill Williams buys shares in Toronto Wolfpack

Sonny Bill Williams has invested in his new team, Toronto Wolfpack, by buying shares in the newly-promoted Super League club.

The 34-year-old former All Black is reportedly the highest-paid player in either code of rugby after signing a two-year deal in Toronto.

Wolfpack will compete in the Super League this season after achieving their goal of promotion to the division within three years of their formation.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/ ... o-wolfpack
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.

Wintergreen
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by Wintergreen » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:16 am

This creates a dangerous precedent imo.

Whatever next? "Sorry I can't play in red as it's my unlucky colour"

"Sorry I object to insurance companies, can I remove the logo please"

He should be told where to go imo.

AndyNick
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Re: Sonny Bill Williams won't wear chief Super League sponsor due to his religious beliefs

Post by AndyNick » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:03 am

To be fair this is nothing new, The South African cricket team were sponsored by Castle Lager for a while and Hashim Amla would always play in an unsponsored shirt. You've seen it with Asian cricketers in County competitions where the county they play for are sponsored by an Alcohol brand. Euan Murray who used to play Rugby Union for Scotland was not available to play in Sunday games.

The irony with Sonny Bill not wanting to advertise Betfred is that what he's actually done is given them a load more publicity. Every time he plays with the logo covered up it's going to get extra mentions. Its a PR Dream for Fred Done.

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