New Zealand Rugby, Blues back Sonny Bill Williams in religious stand against logos on kit

New Zealand World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams will not have to wear an Auckland Blues kit sporting specific logos
New Zealand World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams will not have to wear an Auckland Blues kit sporting specific logos
©PA

World Cup winning All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has received the backing of New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Blues to avoid logos on his kit that are against his religious belief.

Williams, who is the first Muslim to feature for New Zealand is against wearing logos that advertises banks, alcohol and gambling companies. In the recently concluded Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders, the 31-year-old taped a Bank of New Zealand logo on his kit.

And now both New Zealand Rugby and Blues have allowed the 31-year-old to remove the logo of BNZ and another finance company Investec from his Super Rugby kit.

Thanking both the boards for allowing him to continue with his belief, Williams clarified that he had nothing "personal" against those companies.

"I want to be clear that this is nothing personal against the BNZ or Investec," said Williams in a statement released by the New Zealand board.

"My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs, and it is important to me to have been granted this exemption.

"As I learn more, and develop a deeper understanding of my faith, I am no longer comfortable doing things I used to do.

"So 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.

"I want to thank the Blues and New Zealand Rugby for working with me through this matter over the last couple of days, and respecting my religion and accommodating my request."

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