The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) wishes to offer solidarity to member Amy Ross who experienced appalling verbal and physical abuse at a sporting event earlier this month.
Ms Ross was subjected to homophobic and sexist abuse during a cricket match between the Black Caps and Pakistan on the 19th January. She also had a ball thrown at her ribs and was groped by another member of the crowd. During this time, she says she was not appropriately assisted by Security personnel who failed to intervene.
ANZASW completely condemns the abusive behaviour which Ms Ross was subjected to.
Discrimination and physical abuse have no place in a sporting environment, where everybody should feel safe and respected.
Ms Ross told ANZASW “the current approach by managers and promoters of sport is, at best to manage and contain, racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour. The problem with this approach is that it is based on the premise that it is an inevitable and normal occurrence.”
“We must all join to vision and expect a space where absolutely none of this behaviour has any oxygen whatsoever. It is the only way to make real change,” she added.
ANZASW strongly endorses Ms Ross’ words while reaffirming its commitment to combating all forms of violence and discrimination, especially in the public arena.