Crusaders accused of homophobic slur in Cape Town
THE Crusaders are defending star back George Bridge, who they say was their only player caught up in a Cape Town incident that has resulted in accusations of homophobic slurs.
Allegations have been made on social media that members of the touring Kiwi team intimidated and ridiculed two or more gay men at a McDonald's restaurant in the hours after their Super Rugby match against the Stormers.
The Crusaders have vehemently denied the claims in a statement and coach Scott Robertson reinforced that stance on Monday.
He said one-Test All Black Bridge had been at the centre of the incident and was upset at negative headlines that had escalated after what he had intended to be lighthearted interaction with the local men.
"He's really upset around everything that's come out. He's extremely, authentically genuine that there was nothing ever said," Robertson said.
"George said, 'Mate I just want to have a photo with you' ... there was no interaction with anyone else. That's where the misinterpretation came. A selfie gone wrong really.
"He just can't understand how it's got to this platform."
Crusaders management contacted one of the complainants, Alexandros Paterimos, to clarify his version of events.
Paterimos replied on Instagram that he was seeking surveillance camera footage of the incident and planned to take his complaint further.
"After we get that (footage) back, then you will see that we deserve an apology and some action against this homophobic behaviour," the reply said.
"Telling us that we are lying is EXTREMELY offensive and we will not stand for that."