Sonny Bill Williams allowed to wear jerseys without logos

The New Zealand player's request has been approved on account of his Islamic faith.

Sonny Bill Williams allowed to wear jerseys without logos

David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Sonny Bill Williams has been given permission to wear club jerseys without bank logos, as he believes that promoting their practises conflict with his Islamic faith.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) will accommodate his wish, on grounds of a 'conscientious objection' clause in his contract. This allows Williams to refuse wearing such logos that promote alcohol, tobacco, gambling and banks.

The Islamic faith disapproves of financial institutions which charge interest loans.

The Auckland Blues player, who converted to Islam in 2008, will continue to wear the All Black kit, which contains the AIG logo. Over the weekend, Williams taped over the logo of the Auckland Blues sponsor Bank Of New Zealand, on the collar of his jersey.

In a statement issued by the NZRU, Williams explained his motivation behind asking for the exemption.

"My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs and it is important to me to have been granted this exemption.

"As I learn more and develop a better understanding of my faith I am no longer comfortable doing things I used to do. So while a logo on a jersey might seem like a small thing to some people, it is important to me that I do the right thing with regards to my faith and hope people respect that."

According to the New Zealand Herald, Williams has worn jerseys carrying bank logos during promotional events throughout the season, as recently as last week.

They also report that he will continue to comply with wearing the logo of New Zealand's major sponsor, AIG.