Exeter have vowed to investigate an allegation of ‘disgraceful’ racist abuse at Sandy Park after their match against Gloucester today, after a complaint was made by former England wing Ugo Monye.
The Devon club will examine CCTV footage to try to identify the perpetrator after being informed of an incident by Monye, who was at TNT Sports on match day. The rugby expert, who is also team captain on BBC’s Question of Sport, posted on social media what happened.
“As you leave Sandy Park, a supporter runs through the crowd shouting ‘N***a, N***a,’” he wrote. ‘Scandalous. Not a single person said a word, challenged it or even reported it. He walks away after a mild scuffle and fans are now telling me, “We’re with you.” B******s, you’re with me. You weren’t there when you saw and heard the most blatant racism I have ever seen from a fan at a live match. So enough of it.’
Monye spoke to Exeter security staff to provide details of the ugly episode. He was told they would analyze CCTV footage to see if the perpetrator could be identified and punished.
The Chiefs released an official statement saying: ‘In light of recent allegations relating to an incident of racist abuse at Sandy Park following our win over Gloucester, Exeter Rugby Club will be launching a full investigation. This behavior will not be tolerated at our rugby club and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
Former England winger Ugo Monye covered Sunday’s match as a pundit for TNT Sports
“Our team will immediately begin reviewing CCTV footage from the stadium in an attempt to identify the person in question and we would like to sincerely apologize to Ugo Monye, a member of the rugby community who is highly respected by all of us . club. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, we would ask that you contact the Chiefs as soon as possible.”
This allegation of discrimination at a professional rugby match is another uncomfortable setback for a sport desperately trying to improve its image and reputation for diversity and inclusivity following a series of controversies.
Last month the RFU confirmed that a former councilor had been suspended for calling a Twickenham volunteer a ‘black bastard’, following a similar incident last year.
And 18 months ago, former England center Luther Burrell claimed in an interview with Mail Sport to have been the victim of racist abuse – leading to an independent review which found players at all levels of elite rugby had faced such discrimination . England.
The visitors to Sandy Park, Gloucester, added their own voice of solidarity and outrage with a social media post saying: ‘Gloucester Rugby would like to express in the strongest possible terms its full support for Ugo Monye.
“We encourage a thorough investigation and will cooperate fully to ensure the perpetrator is identified. Racism has no place anywhere, not even in our sport.’
Premiership Rugby also released a statement on the incident, saying: ‘Premiership Rugby is aware of the allegation of racist abuse made by Ugo Monye at Sandy Park following Exeter Chiefs’ match against Gloucester.
‘Premiership Rugby offers our full support to Ugo Monye and we stand together with our clubs and players in the fight against racism. Racism has absolutely no place in our game or in our society. Exeter Chiefs have launched a full investigation and we urge anyone with any information to come forward.”
Exeter has promised to investigate an allegation of ‘outrageous’ racist abuse at Sandy Park