Christchurch shooting: All Blacks star Beauden Barrett calls for NZ sportspeople to speak out

All Blacks star Beauden Barrett has encouraged other New Zealand sportspeople throw their support behind the Muslim community, after last week's Christchurch mosque shootings.

Team-mate TJ Perenara has been one of the few sporting personalities to express their feelings since the tragedy, imploring the public to back local Muslims in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Now Barrett has followed his lead.

"We all support TJ and what he's saying 100 per cent, so just because we don't speak out doesn't mean we're not feeling those ways," he told media in Wellington today.

"But what's evident is that it's important to speak out and for those people in the Muslim community, to let them know this is their home, and we're 100 per cent supportive of them and their families.

"They're just a part of us, essentially, and [we must do] whatever we can do to help and ensure that they're happy here living in New Zealand."

Barrett believes sport can help guide the country through these difficult times.

“Not only from an entertainment point of view," he said. "I think it's important to continue entertaining people, but also be positive and portray positive messages, and just be vulnerable - I think that's the key message.

“Be vulnerable to speak out, to talk to each other, no matter what background or where you're from.

“A lot can be learnt from this, but it's such a shame that something like this has to happen, before we open up."

The two-time World Rugby Player of the Year says the Hurricanes are still coming to terms with what happened last week and struggled to play the Chiefs just hours later.

"Yes, we're still hurting - we're still affected by what's happening and what's happened.

"I think the biggest learning is being able to talk to one another off the field. That’s what we’ve taken from it."

Hurricanes management are supporting the players before Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Stormers in Wellington.

"We're setting up our mental skills person to have meetings with players that want to chat about it," Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said. “It's certainly something we're not bearing.

"It's absolutely tragic what happened down there, so we're not taking it for granted that players don't want to talk about it."

The franchise has yet to announce what it will do this weekend to honour the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

"Those discussions are ongoing at the moment,” Plumtree said.


Join us at 7:30pm for live updates of the Hurricanes vs Stormers Super Rugby clash


Contact Newshub with your story tips: