Everton FC have been accused of ‘cultural disrespect’ over the PR stunt used to launch their new away kit.
On Thursday, the Blues marked the release of the black and pink strip with a team of Maori dancers performing a specially commissioned version of the Haka to the words of the Toffees’ terrace anthem ‘If you know your history’ for the launch on the Goodison Park pitch as well as at the club’s new store in the Liverpool One shopping centre.
Plans to re-enact the dance, traditionally performed by the New Zealand rugby team, before next weekend’s Barclays Premier League opener with Arsenal have come under fire after a lawyer claimed that Everton have disrespected the Maori heritage with the dance.
Property lawyer Maui Solomon has written to the club to demand that they shelve plans for any future renditions of the haka performed earlier this week.
I think it’s showing cultural disrespect to Maori. People overseas need to know Maori culture isn’t just up for grabs… This is the thin edge of the wedge. People all over the world are appropriating Maori culture for commercial purposes.”
However a Goodison spokesman said: “As a club we understand what the haka represents and we simply wanted to celebrate the launch of our new all black playing strip with a dedicated Everton haka.”
What do you think whanau, were they just celebrating or did they get it wrong? Korero mai.
Kia ora to Tom Burgess for this article.