Sir Gordon Tietjens
New Zealand sevens rugby coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has
apologised for a sexually inappropriate joke he made during the
Otago Sports Awards.
Sir Gordon (58) was a guest speaker at Friday's award
ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall.
There was stunned silence from some in the audience and
laughter from others after Sir Gordon made the joke, a guest
The joke talked about removing a woman's bra with, or
without, her consent.
Asked for comment, Sir Gordon released the following
statement to the Otago Daily Times yesterday:''It was not my
intention to cause offence in any way. I sincerely apologise
to anyone that was upset.
''It was a joke, in hindsight, which I should never have used
and I am deeply sorry.''
New Zealand Rugby general manager of rugby Neil Sorensen said
he was ''very disappointed to hear of the joke and would be
speaking to Sir Gordon about it''.
''We expect high standards from all of our people, including
players and coaches.
''We do not condone any behaviour which is sexist or
offensive in any way and we are pleased Sir Gordon has
accepted he overstepped the mark and has apologised.''
Sir Gordon, who last year received a knighthood for his
services to rugby, has coached the national sevens side since
The awards were organised by Sport Otago. Chief executive
John Brimble did not return calls yesterday.
Sport Otago chairman Nigel Wilson said he was aware of the
matter but wanted to discuss it with Mr Brimble before
Rape Crisis Dunedin spokeswoman Anna-Kristy Munro-Charters
said such jokes ''are not funny''.
''They are offensive and can be re-traumatising to survivors
of rape and sexual abuse.''