Super Rugby franchise the Blues have received backlash from fans after what some labelled a “disrespectful” social media post referring to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as “Aunty Cindy”.
The New Zealand government yesterday announced that professional sport will be able to return at COVID-19 alert level two, with NZ Rugby confirming that an all-Kiwi Super Rugby competition including the Blues will return in the near future, the NZ Herald reports.
Shortly after the news, the Blues shared a post across its social media channels celebrating the announcement.
“That feeling when Aunty Cindy says you can play footy again in level 2,” read the post, which was attached to a picture of Blues players celebrating.
However, the use of the Prime Minister’s maligned nickname sparked uproar from some fans who labelled the post “disrespectful”.
The use of the moniker was also criticised because of its ties to far right online trolls.
“What a tone deaf trash tweet from the @BluesRugbyTeam,” said one fan on Twitter. “Show some grace to the person that holds the position of Prime Minister.”
“Show a bit of respect,” said another.
One person wrote: “Geez just how disrespectful.”
Some have even called for the Blues to apologise.
The nickname was popular among supporters of the bizarre #turnardern online campaign last year, where people were encouraged to turn over books and magazines featuring Ardern’s face on the cover.
The Blues’ tweet has since been deleted, while the post on Facebook was edited from “Aunty Cindy” to “Aunty Jacinda”.
This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission