The Wellington Saints have taken a page out of Sonny Bill Williams' book with the use of strapping tape on their playing jerseys to protest their beliefs after a teammate was reclassified as an "import player" despite having a New Zealand passport.
The Saints covered the NBL logo during their 102-79 NBL win over the Canterbury Rams last night in protest against Basketball New Zealand's decision to reclassify Australia-born forward Josh Duinker as an import player.
Duinker had previously played the first six games of the season as a local thanks to his New Zealand passport, but was re-identified as an import player last week after Basketball New Zealand discovered a 2013 appearance for the Netherlands national side.
The ruling affects the Saints' ability to sign other international players, with only three "restricted" players allowed at each club.
Teammate Leon Henry says the protest is about being there for Duinker.
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Source: 1 NEWS
"It's crazy because he carries a New Zealand passport, so for him to be classed as an import is really upsetting for us as a group, but we've got his back and we made a decision that we'll stand by," Henry told Fairfax.
"We'll just take the repercussions, whatever they may be."
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.