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A grandad’s letter to NZRU: ‘Let my boy play!’

An open letter to the New Zealand Rugby Union. ‘Let my boy play!’

CEO Mark Robinson
All Blacks Captain Sam Whitelock

16th February 2022

Dear Mark and Sam,

I am the father of three girls and have been blessed that they have provided my wife and I with 13 wonderful grandchildren. Like all kiwi children they are proud of their country and their way of life in what we all call “Gods-own”.

Their national pride has been augmented in many ways, but not least by how our small country competes on the world sporting stage and more than holds its own with countries with massive financial backing. We all know that at the forefront of this pride is our unwavering support for the All Blacks.

Keith Buckley letter to NZRU

It has to be said that our national identification in many parts of the world is only through the performance of our wonderful kiwi competitors.

Not to be disparaging with other NZ codes and athletes I believe that if it wasn’t for the All Blacks many overseas peoples knowledge of NZ would be the label affixed to a prime piece of Lamb.

The NZRFU has cultured this image and have done a wonderful job of promoting the best of this country through our ambassadors in black.

With such influence comes responsibility. Many youngsters particularly would trust the views of an All Black than certainly politicians or health bureaucrats.

One of my grandsons is 12 years old and unsurprisingly loves his rugby All Blacks. His younger brother is fanatical about his heroes in black. Not surprisingly they are affiliated to the local rugby club and train several times a week – they love it.

Mark and Sam, I think you and your peers have created this brand, and with that comes the requirement to explain the rationale about decisions that are made in the name of NZ Rugby and by association the All Blacks.

The eldest has now been told that to play rugby he must be vaccinated. For a twelve-year-old this is a simple decision he will do anything to play rugby.

I would like you to outline the risk assessment that you must have conducted to support such a discriminatory decision.

The following are undisputable facts that too many make this decision unfathomable:

  • Children are at virtually no risk from this virus – Germany is one country that announced that no child has died from this virus.
  • Sweden, Denmark and many other countries who have done studies have said that the risk benefit assessment re Covid and the young is heavily in favour of not risking the experimental vaccine.
  • Many health organisations around the world have not supported the vaccines for the young only to be overwritten by politicians
  • This is still an experimental therapy with no long-term data on effects particularly for our kiwi children.

I do not think it is unreasonable to ask, that given the above and the magnificent job your organisation has done to promote your sport and influence particularly our young kiwis for you to publicly state whether you support the following:

“That to play rugby in NZ 12-year-olds and above must take the experimental vaccine”

I do not have any qualms with asking that our revered All Blacks who have a deserved lifestyle which, in a major part is driven by this branding speak out and say whether they believe that they want to put their name and reputation to this coercion from rugby organisations.

In addition I would also ask if your organisation will commit to support these youngsters should this medical intervention result in an adverse reaction?

The branding of NZ Rugby is a marketing masterpiece and I congratulate your organisation for that. This branding has resulted in many New Zealanders trusting the men in black more than virtually anyone else.

Mark, Sam I beg of you do not sit on the fence.

Tell me a grandfather of 71 years, that you and those magnificent athletes inspiring admiration throughout the world, whether my grandson has to risk his health to play the sport you have made so important in his life.

Call a press conference and tell us your views. Ask your medical people to explain which studies they have read that have contributed to their view. Please do not trot out the “safe and effective” line that flies in the face thousands of medical reviews.

Many of the great All Blacks have said that there are times in a game where leadership is required.

The All Blacks know at such times that their team possess many of these leaders and they step up.

This country now needs such leadership.

Mark, Sam ………..Richie M, Dan Carter you great All Blacks of the past speak out.

I beg you – let my boy play!

In hope,

Keith Buckley

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    • I’m not a rugby person, however I did read today that member of the Blues (?) spoke out against the mandates. Hopefully more will follow.

  1. All about the $.
    Not just Rugby. All the sporting codes. Happy to take Govt money though happy to exclude unvaccinated tax payers, and their children.
    AB’s losers lost my respect years ago, when they sold out.

  2. Dear Keith,

    Sadly the NZRUs decision was not about health. There is no way they can adequately answer your very important questions because kicking kids out of rugby was a personal decision. I know this because one of their esteemed board members is the chair of the trust who kicked me out of my workplace. He told me very clearly that he would not put up with anyone choosing to not be vaccinated, not in any space that he is in. The youth of NZ were kicked out of sports because of this man’s own biases and fears. I would also suggest his need to conform and to keep his buddy politicians onside would also have played a large role.
    But this most definitely was NOT about health.

    • And by now he should be awake to the truth that is coming out and in fact it’s overwhelming… that’s if he is awake yet? But I guess his pride will be in his way of conceding he was conned and wronged by the government…My son is very passionate about his golf…He is Fifteen and has a handicap if 2.8..after playing for two yeay…he has been mandates off the course…and now suffers from depression….his dream was to play on the PGA…now he just sits in his room and plays mindcraft on his computer…by himself…As you can imagine I’m one pissed off Father and sad for my son’s future…????

      • This government and their agendas are destroying families and businesses, we are now seeing an increasing number of very angry people, those who sacrificed their bodies to keep a job, now coherced to get the booster/boosters. We are going to have very sad, angry, depressed, mentally and psychologically unwell and unhappy people in our society, my heart grieve for our young people. They can’t sit a drivers license, can’t go to the gym, hair cut, or play their favourite sport. Our 18 year old son, is getting a bit depressed and getting angry easily, he may not be able to play rugby or get his full license. He spends most of his time in his room playing online basketball, I really do hope the local club can let him play, they need numbers. He’s never been to the doctors, I have to re-enrol ourselves every 5 years, as we haven’t been sick.This is not about health. The govt don’t have any other alternatives, only the v. It’s disgusting, and discrimination, we are going to have a generation of kids playing PlayStation and mine craft on a Saturday, because they can’t play rugby, netball, soccer, etc etc . It’s very very sad. What happened to that saying- A kid in sports, stays out of Court. Stay strong.

  3. We’ve been playing rugby in this country for 150 years and never before worried if someone was vaccinated for measles or flu or rubella or mumps or any other infectious disease, then covid comes along and every rugby Player suddenly has to get a covid jab. What a pathetic joke sports have become. Their administrators should hang their heads in shame

  4. My 19yo son too, today near in tears. He’s a great kid, studies, works, friends, sports. The agony I see him face, with peer pressure, apartheid, segregation. If only he can hold on a few month longer. You never stop being a parent. You just want to protect them.

    This Labour Govt and all the political parties, has truly made me so detest those in power. The Red Queen of Kindness. Her cruelty is an understatement, they way they punish us not wanting to get jabbed.

    I’m not Anti-Vaxx, just this jabb. I am now Anti-Labour

  5. My son today learned he cannot play 15 a side rugby. After starting 10 years ago with ripper rugby this has broken his heart.
    I am happy to pay for and gave him a Rapid Antigen test prior to each game to prove he is covid free, but no a vaccine that doesn’t stop you catching it, passing it on and with no long term safety data is the only way.
    So 30 boys with covid but vaccinated can play, but one without covid or vaccine cannot, logic is dead.
    NZ rugby don’t let sport be the pawn in politics again and stand up to stop this discrimination.

  6. Shame on NZ Sport for discrimination and segregation. Every man women and child is equally able to carry and transmit a virus! The “science” Sports NZ has chosen to follow is that of the Pfizer narrative, and is false. Judgement day is coming, the truth will come out, there are far to many injuries and deaths here in NZ and globally from this vaccine that the media can not hide for every. I am not religious, but I hope god will have mercy on your soul!


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