Rugby: TJ Perenara helps raise money for LGBT community at Hurricanes game

  • 28/04/2018

Injured Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara has been putting his time on the sidelines to good use, helping raise money for two LGBT+ youth organisations.

Perenara was spotted at Westpac Stadium during the Hurricanes' 43-15 win against the Sunwolves with a donations bucket, helping raise money for the New Zealand Falcons - NZ's gay rugby team, who were collecting donations to support Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT.

NZ Falcons player Dr Dean Knight took to Twitter to thank the New Zealand international.

"The NZ Falcons also had a very special guy helping out with last night's collection - thanks to TJ for standing up for gay and inclusive rugby and LGBT+ youth!"," he wrote.

"Delighted by the kind support from the Hurricanes crowd, who happily supported the buck collection at tonight's game for NZ Falcons, RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT."

Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson - himself a gay rugby player - was also out helping collect donations.

Perenara has been very supportive of the LGBT community, speaking out against disgruntled Wallabies star Israel Folau over his comments saying gay people would go to hell unless they repented for their sins.

"You don't need to look far to know that young Maori/PI are overrepresented in youth suicide statistics and, as I understand it, even more so when you look to those who are part of the Rainbow community," Perenara wrote on his Twitter page.

"To anyone, young Maori/Pasifika people especially, who may be struggling with their identity - please know that it is OK to be you.

"You are perfect as you are. Do not let these comments keep you from being yourself. Polynesia has been sexually diverse since forever."

Perenara says it should go "on record" that he is "100 percent against" the comments made by Folau.

"It was not ok to say that. It's not an attitude I want to see in the game I love. There is no justification for such harmful comments."