The Cape Town man who raised a complaint against Crusaders players for alleged homophobic slurs has revealed that the Super Rugby champions have contacted him for his version of events.
Alexandros Paterimos, a photographer based in the Mother City, took to Instagram over the weekend to detail an incident with some of the Crusaders players at the McDonald’s on the corner of Long and Kloof Streets in Cape Town.
David Havili and George Bridge were two players named by Paterimos on his social media account as having been part of the Crusaders group present, following their 19-19 Super Rugby drawn match against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday night.
Paterimos said that the Crusaders players had made homophobic slurs, were physically intimidating and had taken videos of him and his friends – adding that they had said they would “f..k us up if we didn’t watch it”.
The Crusaders’ initial statement early on Monday morning said that “the three players, team management and the South African-based security advisor with them, strongly refute the socialised account of what happened. They are devastated by the allegation and the implication of homophobic behaviour”.
Since then, Paterimos posted on his Instagram account that the Crusaders had contacted him directly.
“Hi Alexandros, We wanted to contact you in relation to the allegations about some members of our team. Given the serious nature of these allegations, we would like to give you the opportunity to provide us with your full account of what happened and any evidence you may wish to provide prior to our CEO meeting with the team when they return to Christchurch tomorrow. Many thanks.”
Paterimos responded that he was still trying to get video footage from the store.
“Hi there! We understand that you may have your reservations against us as the men are most likely lying to you about what happened, however we will prove that we are not lying as we are getting surveillance footage today from the McDonalds (as we weren't able to yesterday).
“After we get that back, then you will see that we deserve an apology and some action against this homophobic behaviour. Telling us that we are lying is EXTREMELY offensive and we will not stand for that. Kind regards, Alex.”
Paterimos said that he was not highlighting the incident to get “attention”.
“At the end of the day, we are not fighting this battle to get an apology from the players. We don’t want an apology. What we want is to fight the mindset that allows men to think that they can run around freely, treating POC and queer people as if we are not worthy of fighting for our basic human rights.
“You cannot spit on us, mock us, throw slurs at us, physically threaten us AND get away with it. No ma’am, not on my watch.
“We’ll continue to fight as a queer community FOR the queer community who are SICK and TIRED of these toxic men getting away with whatever they please.
“This will be an example for all the toxic CIS-HET men out there (talking to you fellow rugby players) as they will see that this behaviour will not be tolerated any longer.
“This is not over and we will not be silenced.”
Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said: “This is an organisation that is committed to inclusivity and is proud to have earned the Rainbow Tick certification. That is what makes these allegations particularly distressing.
“Given the serious nature of these allegations I will be meeting with the team management and players on their return to Christchurch, however I am confident in the account that we have received from the team and the security advisor who was present.”@ashfakmohamed