CRUSADERS coach Todd Blackadder has come out strong in support of Nemani Nadolo who was racially abused by a fan in the wake of the team's loss in the Super Rugby final on Saturday night.
Blackadder says Nadolo was the "main reason" for the team's resurgence this season.
Earlier yesterday, the Fiji-born hulking winger claimed that he was racially abused by a Crusaders fan following the team's 32-33 loss to the Waratahs.
Nadolo took to the social networking website Twitter to report the abuse adding it was "hurtful".
"After all I've done to contribute to tis (sic) lovely city of Christchurch to be called a unfit chubby N* is disappointing," the Flying Fijian tweeted.
In an interview with Times Sport yesterday, Blackadder called the abuse "intolerable and discriminatory".
The 26-year-old Nadolo joined the Crusaders earlier this year when the New Zealand-based franchise was struggling to stamp its mark in the Super Rugby competition.
His bursting runs and giant form on the field put the former champions back on track and eventually made him the joint top try scorer in the competition.
Even Blackadder admitted Nadolo was the major inspiration for Crusaders qualification in the final.
"Nemani has been in an absolutely sensational form and he was the main reason behind the team's turnaround in performance this season," Blackadder said.
"There are about 300,000 to 400,000 people in Christchurch who just love him but its just one idiot out there who is trying to tarnish this."
Nadolo received a number of messages on Twitter from his fans in Fiji and abroad expressing their disgust and support for him.
He also received support of some former rugby union and league stars.
According to Fairfax NZ, former Auckland Blues player Ben Atiga said he was disgusted but "not surprised" by the abuse.
"One of my first outings there was quite similar," he said.
Rugby league great Monty Betham told Fairfax NZ that the comment represented the "blinded minority".
"New Zealand loves you. You're the man and started the Crusader resurgence this year," Betham said.
Fiji Rugby Union said it would not comment on the issue.
Nadolo, who hails from Sigatoka, later posted another tweet thanking his supporters and adding he had moved on from the incident.
"Thank u 2 all 4 the kind tweets. whatever has been said is said. I'm just blessed 2 b here. not gonna let one person ruin it. #movingon," he tweeted.
Blackadder praised Nadolo's sensible reaction adding they were fortunate to have a player and person of his calibre in the team.
"Any Fijian wingers out there, who want to play in the Super Rugby competition, please come and see us. This is your club," Blackadder added.