Players upset at World Rugby crackdown on messages written on athletic tape - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Cloudy
0.2°C

Players upset at World Rugby crackdown on messages written on athletic tape

November 29, 2017 - 10:58 AM

Canadian Jen Kish has added her voice to players upset that World Rugby is cracking down on personal messages written on athletic tape worn during games.

"New World Rugby policy that no longer allows players to write on any tape. What's next? Covering up tattoos that display writing?" Kish tweeted on the eve of Thursday's season-opening Dubai Sevens.

Kish, whose body is covered with tattoos, traditionally writes Ruck Cancer on her wrist tape and boots in honour of her father and others battling cancer. Other players write family names on their tape, something from the scriptures or other messages.

The New Zealand Rugby Players Association said Wednesday the crackdown was "buried" in a participation agreement signed by teams ahead of Dubai and had not previously been announced to players or national rugby unions.

World Rugby defended the move, saying it is necessary to make sevens rugby compliant with International Olympic Committee regulations which ban athletes from wearing any unauthorized slogans, logos, messages or symbols. Sevens was part of the Olympics at last year's Rio Games.

"While World Rugby recognizes that the overwhelming majority of the messages are appropriate and that is something that the players enjoy doing, there have been a small number of occasions where messages have gone unchecked and caused offence to teams, nations, commercial partners etc.

"This is a common-sense approach that has been accepted by all participating teams."

World Rugby, however, appears to be changing its tack. A spokesman subsequently said it was reminding players at Dubai that any messages should be confined to wrist strapping "to minimize potential issues."

That message did not seem to get through immediately.

"Rugby should embrace individuality that’s why so many of us play the game," tweeted New Zealand captain Sarah Goss.

Added Black Ferns teammate Niall Williams: "It's sad that in today's world we can't even write a personal message on our OWN WRISTS when we play. My daughter's initials on my wrists means so much to me AND my daughters! I would like to know what msgs @WorldRugby saw on wrists that made them come to this decision??"

Kish subsequently tweeted: "Dear @WorldRugby. My freedom to express myself on the pitch is worth more than a 1k fine but the last thing I want is to fund u! #YouWin," The tweet was accompanied by a sad face emoji.

___

With files from The Associated Press

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile