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The RFU vows to eliminate racism from rugby after former England star Luther Burrell’s revelations

The RFU pledges to learn and eradicate racism from rugby after former England star Luther Burrell’s shocking revelations about racist jokes about wearing shackles as slaves and jokes about bananas and fried chicken

The Rugby Football Union has vowed to learn and eliminate racism from sport after shocking revelations were made to sports post by Luther Burrell, the former center of England.

Burrell, now 32, has won 15 caps at international level. He has called for a change of mind after witnessing jokes about slave cuffs and bananas and hearing the frequent use of the n-word.

His revelations in The Mail on Sunday shocked the rugby world and yesterday (SUN) prompted both the RFU and Premiership Rugby to strongly condemn Burrell’s experiences.

The RFU has vowed to ban racism from sport after Luther Burrell's revelations

The RFU has vowed to ban racism from sport after Luther Burrell’s revelations

Burrell met with Sportsmail to give a brave interview about racism in the rugby union

Burrell met with Sportsmail to give a brave interview about racism in the rugby union

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney and chairman Tom Ilube have both reached out to Burrell to offer their support, as has Premiership chief Simon Massie-Taylor.

“We are concerned that this is Luther’s experience and we applaud him for speaking out – racism in any way is unacceptable,” Sweeney said.

“I spoke with Luther to see if we can learn from his experience and possibly work with him as an advocate for change.

“Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of our strategy and we want to improve education and awareness throughout our game. We apologize to Luther and all those who have experienced discrimination of any kind and will continue to work to get it out of our game.”

RFU chief Bill Sweeney says union 'applauds' Burrell for his courage

RFU chief Bill Sweeney says union ‘applauds’ Burrell for his courage

RFU Chairman Tom Ilube has reached out to Burrell to offer support following the news

RFU Chairman Tom Ilube has reached out to Burrell to offer support following the news

Burrell has represented Leeds, Sale, Northampton and Newcastle in the Premiership and has also played in rugby league.

“Things are said in jest without thinking,” Burrell said. “Every week, every two weeks. Notes on bananas when making a smoothie in the morning.

Notes on fried chicken when dining out. I’ve heard things you wouldn’t expect 20 years ago. We had a hot day in training and I told one of the guys to put on their factor 50.

“Someone came back and said, ‘You don’t need it, Luth, put on your carrot oil.’ Then another boy jumps in and says, “No, no, no, he’ll need it for where his chains were like a slave”.’

Burrell's courage to speak out about his horrific experiences has been widely acclaimed

Burrell’s courage to speak out about his horrific experiences has been widely acclaimed

Burrell’s courage to speak out about his terrible experiences is widely acclaimed and he hopes it can lead to change in the future.

Massie-Taylor added: “We applaud Luther for speaking out on this subject, but it’s saddening to hear some of the language and attitudes he’s been exposed to.

“I spoke to Luther to apologize for what he went through and to offer support.

“While there is a lot of positive activity in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion, this reminds us how far we still have to go.”

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