Leicester Tigers have given new signing Nemani Nadolo their backing after the Fijian called out the casual racism of some people following the Gallagher Premiership club’s announcement of the signing of his fellow countryman, Kini Murimurivalu.
Nadolo took umbrage over some social media comments relating to the pronunciation of the Fijian full-back’s name, sharing a screenshot and replying: “A comment made on the signing of my mate Kini Murimurivalu by one of the supporters… sorry but I don’t stand for this s***… I’ll let head office know tomorrow to change my name to Bob to make it easier for some!”
The Fijian, who has joined Leicester this summer from Montpellier, returned to the matter the following day, saying he bore no grudges but hoped “we can all respect each other whether it’s our name, race or religion”.
This Nadolo exchange has now been addressed on Leicester Tigers TV by their director of rugby, Geordan Murphy. Asked if rugby is a racist sport, Murphy said: “In no way do Leicester Tigers condone racism. I would say that. That is the easiest way to say it.
“Education is a huge piece because worldwide we are seeing that racism is inherent across all walks of life and people obviously need educating. I don’t think there is badness in people but sometimes that is on the wrong side of it.
Well played, Nemani ?? https://t.co/wFwivftFH9
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 21, 2020
“I wasn’t aware of the social media side of it or Nemani’s conversation or whatever that was until you notified me and I know you have spoken to Nemani about it. As you say, he has to have his say. For me, as I said, at Leicester Tigers we in no way condone racism and we want to educate, we want to make sure people are aware of how those negative comments affect people and the way that makes them feel.”
Pacific Island players were regulars in the trophy-winning teams Murphy was part of as a player at Leicester and he commended the value of the upbeat personality they bring to a dressing room.
“It’s very rare that you will see a Pacific Islander not smiling,” he continued. “A great race of people, really want to embrace life, really want to enjoy themselves on the training field and off the training field and certainly they are always the life and soul of the changing room, guys are incredibly happy to be there.
“As you said, I was very, very lucky to play some of my career with some of the best in the world and we are aspiring to get more of those guys through into Tigers colours now.”
"It seemed that certain young black kids in teams I was playing in were not given the chance to be a decision-maker – one of the intelligent positions”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 22, 2020
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