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NZ finds Black ****s hard to swallow

Chinese not too keen, either

By Lester Haines

Published Thursday 15th September 2005 11:34 GMT

It was a bloody silly idea in the first place, but New Zealand's badminton world may finally have to concede that calling the national team the "Black ****s" really is a bit too strong, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Badminton New Zealand adopted the name a year ago as "a gimmicky label to attract sponsors and fans". It worked to a degree, because the organisation was quickly innundated with cash offers from companies such as - you guessed it - condom manufacturers.

Furthermore, Badminton NZ prez Nigel Skelt confirmed: "At the recent New Zealand Open, crowds were yelling out 'c'mon the Black ****s'. Whether the team actually adopt the name officially, they're already known as the Black ****s."

That's as may be, but the International Badminton Federation (IBF) has decided not to take the Black ****s lying down. Skelt admitted: "They don't want to see the game lose its composure for the want of a gimmicky name. If you're over in China and you get introduced as the Black ****s, it raises some issues."

Ah yes, the sticky "we'd rather not entertain Black ****s in the People's Republic of China" problem. Badminton NZ will now wait for feedback from its 27 regional associations at its November AGM before deciding on whether or not to let the Black ****s stand.

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