All Blacks coach Steven Hansen criticised for comments about domestic violence following Sevu Reece's selection

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has come under fire after he said domestic violence isn't a "gender thing", while defending the selection of Sevu Reece, who was in court last year for assaulting his girlfriend. 

The 22-year-old Crusader was before the courts last year, admitting he assaulted his girlfriend. 

"I don't think there's one New Zealander that wouldn't have put him in the team," Hansen told Radio Sport.

"Having been a policeman I've seen a lot of this... and I know it's not just restricted to the male - women assault males. It's not a gender thing.

"[There are] two types... one, where you have a control freak, male or female..." Hansen said about domestic violence while defending Reece's selection on Radio Sport. 

Hansen's remarks have upset anti-domestic violence advocates, saying Hansen is "not an expert in family violence" and that "violence is gendered".

New Zealand Rugby says it's opposed to domestic violence and has spent the last two years working on an educational programme to better equip young athletes with recognising the risk of violence - and providing them with the tools to cope. 

Reece was given a discharge without conviction and a small fine due to the impact a possible conviction would have on his rugby career.

Hansen says Reece could eventually become "a role model" for young men.


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