Sonny Bill Williams has broken down in tears after sharing a heartbreaking message about the Christchurch shootings.
Multiple people have been killed after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the New Zealand city on Friday.
Police have taken four people into custody after gunmen shot at worshippers at two mosques as they gathered for Friday prayers.
All Blacks legend Williams, who is a devout Muslim, reacted to the news with a tearful message to his legion of followers on social media.
“Just heard the news i couldn’t put it into words how I’m feeling right now,” Williams said in the video.
“Just sending my duas to the families. Apparently there’s close to 30 people dead.
“(I’m) sending out my duas to everyone that’s been killed today in Christchurch… you guys are all in paradise.
“I’m just deeply, deeply saddened this would happen in New Zealand.”
Several other high-profile New Zealand sports stars also conveyed their devastation, with Black Caps cricketer Jimmy Neesham describing it as a “terrible day”.
For so long I’ve watched world events from afar and naively thought we were somehow different in our little corner of the world, somehow safe. Today is a terrible day. Disgusted and saddened doesn’t begin to describe it.
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) March 15, 2019
The New Zealand cricket team were due to play Bangladesh in Christchurch on Saturday but that match has since been called off.
The Bangladesh team were in the vicinity of the shooting and had been left shaken but uninjured, their coach told media.
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjV
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White has since confirmed that the match had been cancelled as a result.
“On behalf of NZC – heartfelt condolences to those affected,” he said.
“We’ve cancelled the game. I’ve spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket – we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time.”