ProD2 club Provence issue statement after player's on-field racist slur
Provence Rugby in the ProD2 have said they will take action against one of their players after it revealed that he racially abused a Nevers Rugby player during a game over the weekend.
Nevers winger Chris Ambadiang – who hails from Cameroon – says an unnamed Aix-en-Provence player called him a ‘banana eater’ and said that he would ‘burn him’ during a match between the sides at the Stade Maurice-David on Friday.
Provence claimed a narrow 26 – 23 victory but the incident in France’s second flight has marred the result. According to Ambadiang, the as-yet unnamed player apologised following the incident, describing it as a lapse in a heat of the moment.
Ambadiang wrote on Instagram: ““I will burn you ,banana eater “ these were the words that was expressed to me by a player from @provencerugbyofficiel during last night’s game and for him to later tell me that it was in the heat of moments which he seems to want to justify what he said is utterly unacceptable and in bad taste.
“It is crazy to think that in the rugby community such racist incidents should be swept under the carpet and condoned in private. I know that there are people that have experienced blatant racism and that are afraid to stand up for themselves publicly only to protect those people’s reputation privately.
“That is in fact to the detriment of the person experiencing this blatant racism because they are not given a platform or the support to express themselves when their character or entire being is being ridiculed…worst part is that the people (the referees)that are supposed to be on the look out for such behaviour tend to turn a blind eye to it.
“It’s so funny that we are taught to be the better person and walk away and to disregard what the person said but sometimes it’s really so difficult because how do you really protect yourself from the act of racism…we really need to do better than to overlook these issues because it can have a psychological impact to those people.
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“I’m not a big social media personality but I hope that it gets to the right people and that something needs to be done about it . We as players in the broader rugby community should endeavour to stand up for ourselves or for other whenever we experience such racist behaviour. We need to do better.”
Leicester Tigers Nemani Nadolo said that it was ‘unacceptable’ and that there’s no room for racism in rugby, while Munster’s Simon Zebo – who has spent the last three years at Racing 92 – has called for a life ban for the player involved.
“Life ban for that scumbag” Zebo wrote on Twitter.
— Simon Zebo (@SimonZebo) September 5, 2021
Aix-en-Provence have promised to take action against the player in line with his comments which the club say have shocked them.
“Provence Rugby learned yesterday that Christian Ambadiang, a Nevers player, was the victim of racist insults by one of our players.”
“Despite the latter’s apologies, and his irreproachable behavior since his arrival at the club, this is unacceptable. This indeed undermines the club’s project, which has made societal issues one of its reasons for existing.”
“Provence Rugby would like to apologize to Christian Ambadiang and, more generally, to all those who may be shocked by the situation. We are too.
“The management of the club will now meet with his player and put in place sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the facts.”
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