Injured TJ Perenara lends a hand to NZ's gay rugby team, grabs a bucket outside Hurricanes' match to fundraise for LGBT+ youth

Source: 1News

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara talked the talk last week when he challenged Israel Folau's stance on gay people - last night he walked the walk to help fundraise for two LGBT+ youth organisations.

Perenara is currently sidelined after rupturing his medial cruciate ligament in the Hurricanes' 38-37 win over the Sharks two weeks ago but that didn't stop him from getting out and about at last night's game where he showed support for another team.

The 26-year-old was spotted with a bucket in hand helping the New Zealand Falcons, NZ's gay rugby team, collect donations to support LGBT+ youth organisations Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT.

"Thanks to TJ for standing up for gay and inclusive rugby and LGBT+ youth!" NZ Falcons player Dr Dean Knight said on social media.

Last week, Perenara was one of several NZ rugby players to oppose Folau's religion-driven statement on social media saying gay people would go to hell unless they repented for their sins.

"I'd like to add my voice to the conversation currently taking place. As professional rugby players, whether we like it or not, we are role models for a lot of young people. Notably, young Māori and Pasifika people," he wrote on Twitter.

"You don't need to look far to know that young Māori/PI are overrepresented in youth suicide statistics and, as I understand it, even more so when you look to those who are part of the Rainbow community. Comments that cause further harm cannot be tolerated.

"Let it go on record that I am 100% against the comments that were made by Israel. It was not ok to say that. It’s not an attitude I want to see in the game I love. There is no justification for such harmful comments."