The Australian teenager who shot to worldwide fame after “egging” an Islamophobic politician who made inflammatory remarks about New Zealand’s mosque massacre said he’s donated almost $70,000 to the shooting’s victims.
Will Connolly, 17, earned the nickname “Egg Boy” in March after he was filmed cracking an egg over the head of then-Sen. Fraser Anning, a right-wing Australian politician widely condemned for blaming Muslim immigration for the deadly attacks. Anning, who lost re-election earlier this month, responded by slugging Connolly in the face.
Police ultimately decided not to charge Connolly or Anning over the March 16 incident. They issued a caution to Connolly and concluded that Anning had reacted in self-defense.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Connolly said two Go Fund Me campaigns were set up to help him cover legal fees and “buy more eggs.” The campaigns raised $99,922 in Australian dollars, he said, or about $69,171 in U.S. currency.
Connolly said the law firm that represented him after the egging did so for free, and that the contributions weren’t “mine to keep.”
The teen said that “after a huge amount of red tape,” the money has been transferred to two New Zealand-based charities supporting the massacre’s victims, the Christchurch Foundation and Victim Support.
“To the victims of the Tragedy, I whole heartedly hope that this can bring some relief to you,” Connolly wrote on Instagram. “Keep spreading the love. ❤️🙌🏻”
Fifty-one people were killed and dozens more injured on March 15 after a man describing himself as a white nationalist opened fire on two Chirstchurch mosques during Friday prayers.
Nicola Britton, Go Fund Me’s Australia manager, confirmed to HuffPost that funds from one of the campaigns, amounting to about $15,000 in U.S. currency have been transferred to Victim Support on behalf of Connolly and his family. The funds from the main campaign, which raised over $55,000 inU.S. currency, are in the process of being transferred to the Christchurch Foundation.
Go Fund Me teams worked closely with Will, his family, and the campaigns’ organizers throughout the donation process, Britton said.
Within hours of the shootings at the mosques, Anning tweeted, “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”
“The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place,” he said in a later statement.
Anning’s colleagues in Australia’s Parliament passed a movement symbolically censuring him in April for his divisive comments. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called his comments “a disgrace.”
Connolly has admitted that physically attacking Anning was “not the right thing to do,” and that his mother didn’t approve of his methods. Still, he said he’s glad the egg has united people.
“I will continue to try and make the world a better place and I hope the end of racism is on the horizon,” he wrote on Instagram in March.