Chiefs under fire for 'revolting' homophobic slurs

Chiefs player Michael Allardice (Getty)
Chiefs player Michael Allardice (Getty)

The Chiefs rugby player at the centre of a homophobic slur scandal has come forward, but says the comments were aimed at a teammate, not a member of the public.

Lock Michael Allardice on Tuesday admitted making the comments, which he said were made in jest.

It comes after Waikato man Brendan Barraclough wrote a Facebook post claiming the comments were aimed at him.

Mr Barraclough said he was swimming at the Okoroire Hot Springs near Tirau on Monday night when he noticed the Chiefs were there, winding down from their loss to the Hurricanes the night before.

Mr Barraclough told Newshub that when he went to leave, one of the players yelled at him "here come the gays, here come the gays" along with other slurs too vulgar to publish.

He described the attack as "revolting".

"How they think this is okay in this day and age is beyond me."

He says while the comments didn't hurt him, he is more upset because of what it could have done to someone else.

"I brushed it off which is awful to say but you do, you just brush it off. The reason I put it on Facebook is because what if it was some younger guy who isn't as secure in themselves as I am."

"And because it was the Chiefs. They are put on this platform in the community, people look up to them, so you can't have that kind of crap going on."

Chiefs under fire for 'revolting' homophobic slurs

After coming forward on Tuesday evening Allardice says the comments were aimed at a teammate.

"Yesterday while enjoying post season team bonding at a pub and local swimming pool I made a rude comment directed at my teammate. It was said in jest at a team mate and I did not intend to offend anyone," he said in a statement.

He says he has called Mr Barraclough and apologised since the incident, but insists his words carried no malicious intent he was just casually using "very poor language".

"I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of the hurt I've caused Brendan and the wider LGBT community and anyone else who I have offended by my comments."

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman also apologised to Mr Barraclough.

"I have actually personally rung Brendan myself this morning to express my sincere disappointment with what happened yesterday."

He says the whole situation should never have happened.

"It's something we can't now turn back the clock on, it's a regrettable incident but as an organisation we are committed as best we can to make it good."

Mr Flexman says it is too early to say if there will be consequences.

"We need to make some decisions if some form of disciplinary action is appropriate and what is the appropriate action to take."

Mr Barraclough says the Chiefs as a whole cannot be judged by one person's actions.

Mr Barraclough says he spoke to several of the other members that evening and says they were friendly and respectful.

Chiefs head sponsor Gallagher Group said it was disappointed by the comments and has called for the player to get counselling. 

There are no plans to pull sponsorship, sponsorship and community executive Margaret Comer said.