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Anthony Joshua Punched By Rape Charity For Praising Ronaldo After Sexual Assault Allegations

A rape victims’ group has criticised Anthony Joshua for comments he made praising Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portugal footballer being investigated over sexual assault allegations.

Rape Crisis England and Wales, an organisation that supports the work of rape crisis centres across both countries, say Joshua was ‘inappropriate, insensitive and disrespectful’ to make jokes about Ronaldo being ‘f*****’ by women ahead of his title defence against American Jarrell Miller in New York.

Ronaldo is currently being investigated over allegations he raped Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

“Cristiano Ronaldo [is my sporting hero],” Joshua said at a promotional event in the build-up to the June fight. “I’ve always said two things you’d get f—– for as an athlete is women and tax, he’s got f—– for both and he’s still smiling, still strong.

“You need mental strength, he’s proved that.

“He’s a family man, he’s got that aspect, but still out working and he’s dedicated to what he does.

“So as a sportsman he’s had the issue of one side, he’s got the family on the other side, and he balances what he’s passionate about. He completes all the packages, so I like Ronaldo for that reason.”

“It’s inappropriate, insensitive and disrespectful to make jokes or flippant remarks about allegations or instances of sexual violence and abuse in any context,” Russell told The Telegraph.

“Arguably, those in the public eye, who may be considered a role model to many, including impressionable young people, have a particular responsibility not to trivialise such serious issues.

“Experiences of sexual violence and abuse can have wide-ranging and long-term impacts on victims’ and survivors’ health, lives and relationships. As a society, we need to develop more empathy and understanding about that if we are ever to see more of those impacted by sexual violence and abuse get the support they need, want and deserve.”

Joshua’s comments also appear to reference Ronaldo’s recent sentence for tax evasion in Spain; the 34-year-old paid a €19million fine to avoid jail time after pleading guilty to the charge.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant for Ronaldo’s DNA in January having reopened their case into the sexual assault allegations.

The Portugal and Juventus forward’s lawyers claimed last October that documents, which appear to substantiate Mayorga’s claims, have been altered from their original state.

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