NZ NBL Disappointed By Fan Behaviour at Taranaki Airs home game

The New Zealand National Basketball League (NZ NBL) is disappointed by the behaviour of a small group of fans during last night’s game between the Taranaki Airs and the Wellington Saints at TSB Stadium in New Plymouth.

During a promotional campaign encouraging fans to "Black Out" the stands by wearing black clothing to support the home team, four fans were shown on the broadcast to be wearing masks and black apparel that could be construed as ‘blackface’. Immediate action was taken as soon as team officials were made aware of their presence, with the individuals told to remove their masks or be removed from the stadium.

NZ NBL General Manager Maree Taylor says that the NBL has a zero-tolerance policy for any actions that can cause offence.

”We are fully committed to maintaining a respectful atmosphere for all fans, players, and staff. The Sal's NBL has always been committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all fans, and we strongly condemn any form of behaviour that goes against these values,” says Taylor.

“We apologise to anyone who was affected by this incident and assure our fans that we are actively reviewing and reinforcing our policies to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. In collaboration with all our teams and stakeholders, we will be implementing additional education and awareness programs to ensure that everyone involved in the NBL understands the importance of cultural sensitivity and inclusivity.”

Taranaki Airs General Manager Cole Brown echoed the same message.

“Our organisation deeply values an inclusive culture that embraces diversity and is built on respect. Any behaviours contrary to these values will not be accepted. We will continue to work with our community to provide exciting and positive basketball experiences for everyone in Taranaki," said Brown.


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