New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have announced they are going to accommodate Sonny Bill Williams' request to have certain sponsors removed from his jersey for religious reasons.
Williams made his return to Super Rugby last weekend while debuting for the Blues in their 26-20 loss to the Highlanders but caused controversy when he entered the game in the second half with strapping tape on his collar covering BNZ's logo.
Williams has since met with the Blues and NZR to express a request to have the logos of BNZ and Investec (Super Rugby's naming sponsor) removed from his playing jersey under "conscientious objection to this category of sponsorship".
“I want to be clear that this is nothing personal against the BNZ or Investec," Williams said.
"My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs and it is important to me to have been granted this exemption."
"As I learn more, and develop a deeper understanding of my faith I am no longer comfortable doing things I used to do. So while a logo on a jersey might seem like a small thing to some people, it is important to me that I do the right thing with regards to my faith and hope that people respect that."
Williams has assured NZR his beliefs do not see him object to insurance companies such as nib for the Blues and AIG for the All Blacks.