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Newcastle Falcons statement: RFU investigation

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Chris Lishman/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Newcastle Falcons have issued a statement after it was revealed that the club was the subject of an ongoing investigation following racism allegations made by Luther Burrell.

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Burrell has alleged that he was racially abused during his time in the Gallagher Premiership, suggesting that comments surrounding slavery, his skin colour and friend chicken were made to him.

While the former England centre refused to name the players involved, it was made clear that the incident in question was not during his time with Northampton Saints.

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The RFU, the sport’s national governing body, intends to begin a joint initiative alongside PRL and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) to uncover the scale of the issue.

However, an investigation is already underway at Newcastle and club have now released a statement.

A statement from the club reads: “Following Luther Burrell’s recent media interviews, Newcastle Falcons – as Luther’s most recent club – said it would investigate whether any of the incidents referenced in the article took place during his time at Newcastle Falcons. The Club also want to ensure that all our players and staff continue to feel they have a forum to raise concerns should they need to.

“We wanted the investigation to be fully independent and, as such, we agreed that the RFU would conduct the investigation and we will review their findings and recommendations before deciding on any appropriate action.

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“The club has a rich history of cultural diversity within the squad and the wider business, with multiple nationalities and cultures represented across the company. There is no place for any discriminatory behaviour in rugby or in any walk of life.

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“All of our employees are currently undertaking equality, diversity and inclusion refresher training and this will form part of a regular programme going forward. We are determined to continue to be a fully inclusive club.

“We would encourage everyone involved in rugby to work together collectively to ensure the right processes are in place and that rugby is the inclusive and welcoming environment it should be.”

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