Luther Burrell’s allegations of racism at his time at Newcastle have been upheld by an independent investigation, and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has ruled out taking disciplinary action against anyone.
The investigation, which included interviews with 93 members of staff at the club, including players and coaches, found that Burrell, an English centre of Jamaican descent, was subjected to racial abuse. This included comments about slavery, bananas, and fried chicken. The inquiry also uncovered a post on a players’ WhatsApp group that contained a “wholly inappropriate racist term”.
In addition to this post, two other incidents of racism were directed at Burrell and witnessed by him. This led to the conclusion that “on the balance of probability, the allegations made in the article are true”, and that “his motivation for making the allegations was his wish to eradicate racist behaviour from rugby union”.
However, the RFU have decided against disciplinary action for this case, since it was deemed that taking further steps might not help to promote their mission to diversify the sport. Rather, they are focusing their efforts on the collective goal of eradicating racist behaviour from the sport by addressing elements of their inclusivity action plan.
The RFU’s chief executive Bill Sweeney expressed his admiration for Burrell’s bravery in coming forward with his story, saying that both the RFU and the club have worked together to ensure changes to their policies and procedures in the wake of the allegations.
The organisation in question is the Rugby Football Union (RFU) which is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in England, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Established in 1871, the RFU’s main role is to support and grow the game of rugby union in England. As a governing body, the RFU is responsible for creating and maintaining the laws and rules in which the sport is played as well as ensuring that players and clubs behave themselves on and off the pitch.
The person mentioned in this article is Luther Burrell, a former English centre and current rugby union player. Burrell began his journey with rugby when he was a young child playing for Wath RFC, and went on to join Leeds Met University Rugby before signing with Sale Sharks. Most recently, Burrell has been associated with Newcastle and Sale Sharks, having last signed for Sale Sharks in 2020 for the 2021 Super League season. Burrell played for England between 2013 and 2015, making 13 appearances and scoring two tries. He is also passionate about addressing racism within his sport and has raised awareness of this issue throughout his career.