Joseph Parker won’t attend 'racist' event unless school lifts attendance restrictions, says manager


Duco CEO David Higgins:

"I can confirm that I have a had a fruitful conversation with Whanganui High School principal Martin McAllen this afternoon. We very quickly cleared up any misunderstandings around Joseph Parker's planned visit to the school and both parties are now on the same page.

"We've expressed that we would like a more inclusive event that was originally proposed and the school is very much open to that. We now look firming to firming up the details of Joseph visit to the school - which is something he is very much looking forward to."

<enter caption here> at The O2 Arena on July 28, 2018 in London, England.
Photo credit: Getty

Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker won't be attending a proposed event at Whanganui High School unless it opens its doors to students of all ethnicities, says the fighter's manager.

The North island school has planned a motivational session male for Māori and Pasifika students and their dads only at which Parker was invited to speak. That's lead to outrage among parents and complaints of racism and sexism.

Parker's promoter, David Higgins, told The AM Show host Duncan Garner that they wouldn't be attending unless the attendance restrictions were lifted.

"Under the current plan, it's not something that we or Joseph Parker would endorse," said Higgins.

"I don’t think we'd punish the kids by making them miss out, but obviously they’ve got to consider an inclusive event rather than segregated.

"I don’t think Joseph can participate unless some changes are made."

Higgins also reiterated that neither Parker, nor his wider team, had any knowledge of the criteria the school had put in place.

"I need to crystal clear – Joseph Parker was not aware of the plan to only invite certain ethnicities," Higgins stressed.

"I hadn’t signed off the final itinerary either, so the announcement was made without our knowledge. We found out about it through the media.

"[Parker] has a good heart and he treats everyone equally, whether they're the toilet cleaner or the CEO."

Earlier, Garner lashed out at the event, labelling it "racist" and "a joke".

"It's wrong," stated Garner. "With every bone in my body this is wrong.

"If there are Pākehā students - and there are - who want to go to this session with Joseph Parker, a motivational session, then they should be allowed."