The Auckland-based gay rugby team, New Zealand Falcons, has ditched its sponsorship with law firm Russell McVeagh only weeks after both sides announced a deal.
That came just days before the allegations of sexual harassment at Russell McVeagh were made on the Newsroom website, leading to other organisations, including university law schools, deciding to sever their links with the firm, and sparking a debate on how to change the culture of the legal profession.
On its Facebook page, the rugby club has informed its members and supporters of its decision.
“The New Zealand Falcons executive committee has decided that in the best interests of the club, we are to part ways with Russell McVeagh. We are committed to championing inclusivity and equality but would like to thank those in the organisation that have shown us goodwill.”
One comment supported the decision: “A very difficult decision but one I wholly support given the circumstances.”
In an article in LawPoints on 7 February 2018, NZ Falcons President Ben Payne said the club was “delighted that Russell McVeagh has joined the family of organisations supporting the NZ Falcons”.
“The team is an important part of making sure rugby is inclusive and getting rid of homophobia in New Zealand sporting culture – and we are looking forward to working with Russell McVeagh to help deliver on that mission.”