EXCLUSIVE: “For someone to make a comment like that is appalling. Feels like we’re going backwards’, Luther Burrell berates ex-London Irish gag Alex Murphy for using N-word slur against Twickenham volunteer – labeling distasteful incident as ‘disheartening’
- Former London Irish mainstay Alex Murphy has been banned from Twickenham
- He admitted to making racist comments during the 2022 England v Wales match
- Murphy has also been stripped of his ‘leading member’ privileges
Luther Burrell has condemned the ‘appalling’ behavior of a former RFU councilor who has been banned from Twickenham after using racist language during a Six Nations match.
The former England center sent a shock wave through English rugby last year when he opened up to Mail Sport about the racism he had experienced.
It led to a thorough investigation that revealed a culture of discrimination at all levels of the sport in this country.
That ugly element to the game has come to light again after the RFU revealed on Tuesday that it has banned ex-London Irish prop Alex Murphy from entering the national stadium.
He had admitted to making comments during the 2022 England v Wales match which were described by a disciplinary panel as “archaic and incredibly offensive”.
Alex Murphy admitted to making racist comments during the 2022 England v Wales match
A statement from the union read: “The charge was that during the 2022 England v Wales match, Alex Murphy said to the volunteer as he walked to the council bus, ‘You realize they don’t let n****** in the Royal Lodge’.
A similar comment was later repeated in the bar area. These were clearly heard, both by the volunteer and by their husband, who was upset by the remark.’
It turned out that Murphy called the victim of his racist remarks – someone he knew well – to apologize, but only after the volunteer challenged him on WhatsApp.
An April 21 RFU council meeting agreed to strip Murphy of his “leading member” privileges and the union also imposed a “time-bound stadium ban.”
Burrell responded to the unsavory revelations, telling Mail Sport: ‘I’ve been in the royal box (at Twickenham). I took my father, a black man, so I understand the dynamics of those rooms.
“All those people are in very privileged positions, so it’s appalling that someone in such an environment would make such a comment. It shows how far the sport still has to go.
“That people think they can say that just baffles me. I know rugby is making supposed progress, but this just feels like we’re going backwards.
“It’s disheartening that he felt he could say that in that environment.
Leicester are in negotiations to sign Anthony Watson to a shock new Tigers contract
‘Something has to change. I look at these councilors and ask what they are actually doing for the greater good of the game.”
Meanwhile, Leicester are in negotiations to sign Anthony Watson to a shock new Tigers contract, although Mail Sport understands that central funding from the RFU would not factor into any deal.
Watson, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and Castres was among a number of French clubs looking to England and Lions amid a landscape of financial uncertainty and a reduced salary cap in the Premiership.
Last week Leicester removed Watson from their official list of players due to leave the club and interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth said: “We all know he is a top player and the club and Anthony are in talks to try and get something done. ‘