Tall Black Tom Abercrombie with his wife Monique-Raquel. Photo / Getty
New Zealand Breakers and Tall Blacks basketball player Tom Abercrombie has criticized his family for being given a special MIQ and quarantine treatment based on his status as a sports star.
Abercrombie’s wife, Monique-Raquel and their three children are granted exemptions for completing their 14 days of mandatory home quarantine after traveling back from Australia.
Monique-Raquel tagged Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on social media, complaining about the state of the hotel room they were housed in, which is believed to be in a facility near Auckland International Airport.
Abercrombie, who is in Australia with other members of the Breakers team, told Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan that two of their three children have high needs, prompting them to apply for medical exemptions.
“[They] have significant behavioral and medical problems, I don’t want to go into detail about what they are, “he said.” The evidence we put forth in our app is sufficient for the power to decide it’s the best thing for them, so they’re obviously significant enough for those people to make that decision.
The fact that I am a basketball player or where I live has absolutely nothing to do with that decision and I would be very disappointed if that happened.
“I am very disappointed and frustrated.”
Abercrombie said he and his family were well aware their application might be rejected – they were likely satisfied.
“We submitted an exemption on the assumption that we might not get it, obviously very hard to get and not everyone gets it and we are very grateful.
“Otherwise, they will have to isolate themselves in the facility.”
He added they would be happy to cover the additional costs if needed.
The 33-year-old’s family traveled with him to Melbourne before the start of the Australian NBL season, where the team will be based. However, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in early January in Victoria, the club was forced to move again, this time to Hobart.
Abercrombie’s wife and son then chose to go home. They were greeted by isolation facilities which he said were “concerning”.
He admits that looking back, complaining on social media was not the right first step.
“Given the situation again, I don’t think it’s the right way to do things. But it was an emotional and stressful time for my wife, we literally had two hours to pack our bags in Tasmania, catch the plane the next two hours and she flew all the way back to New Zealand from Melbourne with little sleep.
“If he had more time, we would not publicize the complaint, but also the situation he faced in managed isolation which I think is not suitable for families or individuals who come in with mold and objects on the windowsill where a potential virus can live. “
Last month, Abercrombie told NZME – after moving to Hobart – he worries that the task of looking after three children could become tough work for his wife when away from her usual home.
The quarantine issue is just another fire Abercrombie has to put out, which turns out to be a trying start for the NBL season.
He and his Breakers teammates have had to battle the ongoing Covid-related issues since arriving in Australia.
The club were forced to remain in Adelaide last week following their first two games of the season due to players feeling unwell, leading to preventive testing and staying in South Australia.
They have been allowed to return to training, and will next play Cairns Taipans on Saturday.