Rugby: Samoan player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu accuses All Blacks of 'stealing' Maori culture

Outspoken Samoan rugby player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has accused the All Blacks of 'stealing' Maori culture in an expletive-laden social media post.

"The All Blacks' whole identity is stolen from Maori culture," he says. "The All Blacks aren't doing an Indian dance, they're not doing an Asian dance - they're doing a Maori haka."

Apia-based lawyer Fuimaono-Sapolu's was responding to claims that Asian and Indian students at Auckland's Alfriston College had questioned why their school held a special Maori-Pacifica awards ceremony.

"Let me explain why - no other race, no other culture has been targeted deliberately by the New Zealand Government like Maori have," he said. "They deliberately, intentionally attempt to exterminate and eradicate Maori culture."

Fuimaono-Sapolu claimed Maori culture had also been stolen by sporting teams - namely NZ Rugby - and corporates.   

"You have Air New Zealand, with their koru pattern on their wing. They're not putting up an Indian pattern, they're not putting up an Asian pattern - it's a Maori pattern.

Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu scores for Gloucester
Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu scores for Gloucester. Photo credit: Photosport

"That's why it's important that we all tune into everything Maori want to discuss. This is Maori country and if you don't f***ing like it you South Africans can f*** off back to Europe, Asians go back to Asia, Indians go back to India."

The Facebook video has been viewed more than 200,000 times, with almost 6000 likes and 4000 shares.

Fuimaono-Sapolu, 38, who grew up in Auckland, played professionally for Gloucester and represented Manu Samoa at two Rugby World Cup tournaments.

But he landed in hot water in 2011, when he accused Welsh referee Nigel Owens of being biased and racist, after he red-carded Samoan fullback Paul Williams against South Africa.

He then compared World Cup scheduling to the Holocaust and apartheid, after Samoa had only three days to prepare for a clash against Wales, who had a week. 

When Fuimaono-Sapolu failed to turn up to an International Rugby Board hearing, he was suspended from all rugby for six months. The penalty was later deferred for two years.

The Samoa Rugby Union was charged with failing to control its player and formally apologised for his comments.



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