#MeToo: CSK draws flak for roping in NZ player Scott Kuggeleijn who was controversially acquitted of rape charges
Kuggeleijn is Chennai Super Kings’ replacement player for the injured South African bowler Lungi Ngidi.
It would seem that #MeToo has done little to deter alleged perpetrators of sexual violence. With the Indian Premier League 2019 underway, championship favourites Chennai Super Kings have created controversy by the inclusion of New Zealand player Scott Kuggelleijn in its ranks.
Kuggeleijn was accused of raping a woman in 2015 but was later acquitted. However, he was under fire after he made some controversial and insensitive comments against the victim during his trial. Some cricket fans took to social media asking why the NZ pacer was signed despite his disgraceful conduct.
#IPL2019— Karan P. Saxena (@karanpsaxena92) March 30, 2019
CSK sign Scott Kuggeleijn to replace Lungi Ngidi.
Kuggeleijn had cases of "sexual violation by way of rape" and "indecent assault" against him in the past and was booed by the Kiwi crowd when he played against India in limited overs series in Feb.
I repeat, Scott Kuggeleijn is a rapist who got away.— Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) April 3, 2019
I know neither CSK nor IPL Committee cares. I know Harbhajan will travel with him in a bus.
But what about fans? Can't you show up with GO BACK KUGGELEIJN banners?
Or is your Spirit of Cricket restricted to Mankading? https://t.co/IPyovkMH0k
Twitter users pointed out that CSK player Harbhajan Singh had previously made a statement that he would not feel safe travelling with his wife and kids in the same team bus as KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. It was shortly after the duo’s sexist and misogynistic remarks on the TV show Koffee with Karan. The users asked why Harbhajan had not yet objected to Kuggeleijn’s presence.
Will he travel in same team bus with Scott Kuggeleijnhttps://t.co/vMHZn7SfIL— Muthu Kumar (@Muthu_Kumar07) March 30, 2019
#JustIn: Harbhajan Singh decides he will take OLA and not travel in same Team bus as Scott Kuggeleijn.— Good Kid Maad City (@ohgoditsmayhem) March 30, 2019
Nearly four years ago, Kuggeleijn was held on charges of sexually assaulting a woman in Hamilton and faced trial in court. However, later, after a second trial, Kuggeleijn was aquitted because ‘there was not enough evidence’.
During the course of his trial, New Zealand media reported that Kuggeleijn said, “I tried to have sex twice. The victim may have said the word no a few times but it was not a dozen times as she is claiming.” He had reportedly further said that the victim ‘enjoyed’ the sex and that he even tried to apologise later. Kuggeleijn’s defence also attempted to character assassinate the victim.
There was outrage in New Zealand after the New Zealand Cricket board refused to take any action against Kuggeleign or even publicly condemn his behaviour. In fact, several months after his acquittal, Kuggeleijn debuted for the national team. Now, again Chennai Super Kings have signed him up for one of cricket’s biggest tournaments, the IPL and have given him a red carpet welcome.
After a day of drifting I’ve been blown away by the efforts of the @chennaiipl team and management to make me feel at home. To have my little family chilling in the bottom right corner means a lot and shows me they really value family. It really does mean so much to me. So grateful for the thoughtfulness of these people and the opportunity this franchise has given me.
A post shared by Scott Kuggeleijn (@scottkuggeleijn) on Apr 4, 2019 at 4:46am PDT
“Would it be the same for the victim? After speaking up, victims of sexual assault go through hell and are deprived of opportunities. But perpetrators are still treated with respect. #MeToo seemed to have made no difference,” said Meena BC, a CSK fan who strongly condemned her favourite team’s move. She also said that it was highly irresponsible of Chennai Super Kings to have made such a poor example for discipline off the field.
The CSK team management is yet to make any comment on the matter.