Kiwi comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer has joined an online chorus of outrage over the lack of punishment for a young rugby player who brutally beat four people.
Wellington Rugby's Facebook page has been flooded with comments after Newshub revealed Wellington Lions player Losi Filipo was discharged without conviction, despite pleading guilty to attacking two women and two men in October last year.
Mr Gonzalez-Macuer wrote a lengthy post to the organisation, telling them how they could have handled the situation better.
"Hey, Wellington Rugby. You guys could've been awesome this week, but you've completely messed things up. You guys could've been the talk of the town, and had thousands of people look up to you, but you've f***** things up so badly.
"The judicial system let the victims and their families down but you guys could have so easily made it up to them and the countless other victims of rugby player assaults by banning Losi from ever playing rugby for you guys," he wrote.
After the attack, the two male victims were both unable to work for months, and one of them will no longer be able to pursue a promising rugby career. One of the female victims is a model who needed surgery to repair her facial injuries; the other is a talented singer who was punched in the throat.
Mr Filipo's bid to avoid a conviction was supported by a number of high-ranking rugby officials, including Wellington Rugby CEO Steve Rogers. Wellington Rugby now says it gave "generic information" about what a conviction would mean for the young player's career and did not know the full details of the case.
"You've sent the message out to little boys that being good at sport is enough to one day let you off literally almost killing someone," wrote Mr Gonzalez-Macuer.
Others have posted their criticisms of Wellington Rugby and the message it sends to the community and called for Mr Filipo to have his contract rescinded.
"Removal of contract shows pretty strongly that Wellington rugby does not condone violence blacklisted from rugby shows New Zealand does not condone Violence. But sadly your team does condone this! Like to see the ticket sales at the next game take an even bigger dive. If your business us effected then maybe you will make a better choice. One life is not worth more that the many victims of this crime (sic)," Monique Marie wrote.
"You've failed rugby big time, you have let down the fans, you have let down the public, you have let down other rugby players and you have shown a total lack of care for the victims. What will Wellington Rugby be doing for the victims? (sic)", Deirdre Johnson said.
Wellington Rugby says since the attack, Mr Filipo has completed 150 hours' voluntary work with a youth development group which promoted positive behaviour through sport and had been in regular counselling.
One of the images posted to the Wellington Lions Facebook page (Facebook)
There are calls for a boycott of the Lions and its sponsors, while a pre-game protest has been organised for Friday night.
Newshub has contacted a number of the team's sponsors.
One of them, Tui, said it didn't condone violence "of any kind" and on Tuesday had spoken to Wellington Rugby about their concerns.
"This behaviour is unacceptable and we are extremely disappointed by the actions of this player," the company said in a statement.
However, any further action by the company will be decided after Wellington Rugby's internal review of which Tui will be "expecting a serious consequence for an offence of this nature".