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RFU takes action against racism as they ban former council member

NEWS: A former Rugby Football Union council member has been banned from Twickenham after admitting to making racist comments at a Six Nations match last year.

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The announcement came barely a month after the RFU published a survey saying racism had been experienced by players at all levels of elite rugby in England

According to a summary of the case published by the RFU, Alex Murphy made he racial slur to an unnamed volunteer as they walked to the council box at the England v Wales game in 2022.

A similar comment, repeated in the bar area, was clearly “clearly heard” by the volunteer and their spouse, who was distressed by the remarks.

Murphy accepted his behaviour had breached the RFU council’s code of conduct of expected behaviours.

The RFU said it had “imposed a time-limited stadium ban” on Murphy, as well as removing “the title of distinguished membership and associated benefits”.

The panel that heard Murphy’s case said in a statement: “We agree with the RFU that the language was archaic and incredibly offensive and there can be no excuse for not knowing it was so offensive and for continuing to use it.

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“The language goes against the core principles of the game and the changes that the RFU and the game of rugby worldwide has been pursing for some time.”

Last month’s survey came as an independent investigation found that former England centre Luther Burrell was the victim of racial abuse during his time at English top-flight club Newcastle.

Burrell, who is of Jamaican descent, said he was subjected to comments about slavery, bananas and fried chicken, adding that “racial banter” had become “normalised” among teammates.

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