Exeter launch probe after ex-England wing Ugo Monye is racially abused

Rugby race shame as pundit and former England wing Ugo Monye says fan shouted ‘N***a, N***a’ at him during Premiership match at Exeter, with club launching probe into incident

  • Ugo Monye was subjected to ‘most blatant racism’ he has heard from a fan
  • He spoke to Exeter’s security staff to pass on details about the ugly episode 
  • Former England wing was covering Sunday’s match as a pundit with TNT Sports

Exeter have promised to investigate an allegation of ‘disgraceful’ racist abuse at Sandy Park following their game against Gloucester today, after a complaint was made by former England wing Ugo Monye.

The Devon club will scrutinise CCTV footage to try to establish the culprit, having been alerted to an incident by Monye, who was at the ground in his match-day role with TNT Sports. The rugby pundit, who is also a team captain on BBC’s Question of Sport, posted on social media about what happened.

‘Leaving Sandy Park and one supporter running through crowd starts shouting “N***a, N***a”,’ he wrote. ‘Disgraceful. Not a single person said a word, challenged or even reported it. He walks off after a mild scuffle and fans are now telling me: “We’re with you”. B******s you’re with me. You weren’t with me when you saw and heard the most blatant racism I’ve seen from a supporter at a live game. So fed up.’ 

Monye spoke to Exeter’s security staff to pass on details about the ugly episode. He was informed that they would analyse CCTV to see if the offender can be identified and punished.

The Chiefs released an official statement which read: ‘In light of recent accusations regarding an incident of racist abuse at Sandy Park following the conclusion of our victory over Gloucester, Exeter Rugby Club will be launching a full investigation. This behaviour will not be tolerated at our rugby club and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

Former England wing Ugo Monye was covering Sunday’s match as a pundit with TNT Sports

‘Our team will begin to review CCTV footage from the stadium immediately, in an attempt to identify the individual in question and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Ugo Monye, a member of the rugby community who is highly respected by everyone at our club. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, we would ask you to get in touch with the Chiefs as soon as you can.’ 

This allegation of discrimination at a professional rugby match is another uncomfortable setback for a sport desperately trying to improve its image and its record on diversity and inclusion, after a series of controversies. 

Last month, the RFU confirmed that a former council member had been banned for calling a volunteer at Twickenham a ‘black c***’, following a similar incident last year. 

And 18 months ago, former England centre Luther Burrell, in an interview with Mail Sport, claimed to have been the victim of racist abuse – leading to an independent review which revealed that such discrimination had been experienced by players at all levels of elite rugby in England.

The visitors at Sandy Park, Gloucester, added their own voice of solidarity and outrage, with a social-media post which read: ‘Gloucester Rugby would like to express, in the strongest possible terms, its full support of Ugo Monye. 

‘We encourage a thorough investigation and will co-operate fully to ensure the culprit is identified. Racism has no place anywhere – including in our sport.’ 

Premiership Rugby also released a statement about the incident, which read: ‘Premiership Rugby is aware of the accusation of racist abuse suffered by Ugo Monye at Sandy Park following the Exeter Chiefs match against Gloucester. 

‘Premiership Rugby offers our full support to Ugo Monye and we stand united with our clubs and players in the fight against racism. Racism has absolutely no place in our game or society. Exeter Chiefs have launched a full investigation and we urge anyone with any information to come forward.’ 

Exeter have promised to investigate an allegation of ‘disgraceful’ racist abuse at Sandy Park

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