GAA to investigate alleged racist abuse
GAA:The Ulster Council of the GAA has confirmed it will investigate claims that Crossmaglen’s Aaron Cunningham was the subject of racist abuse during today’s Ulster club football final against Kilcoo. Crossmaglen won the game at the Athletic Grounds with Cunningham alleging afterwards that two Kilcoo players had verbally abused him on separate occasions during the game.
Cunningham, whose father Joey was one of the first black inter-county players, claims he was called a “nigger” and a “Paki” during the match. Reacting to the reports, the Ulster Council said “the GAA is an anti-racist organisation by rule and will not tolerate in the strongest and most emphatic terms racist abuse of any type.”
Cunningham spoke to reporters after the match, saying he was disgusted when the abuse started with Crossmaglen well on top after 15 or 20 minutes. “You go out to play football in a good sporting manner, hard-hitting and that, but when race comes into it, I think it’s disgusting to be honest,” he explained. “I don’t want to let it overshadow what has been a good game and a 10th title for us, three-in-a-row and number five for myself. But I feel it has to be said, because what was said has no place on a football pitch.”
Cunningham added: “There is no place for it whatsoever. You have the likes of my father, he played football as well. I think he was the first black player to play in Croke Park. Jason Sherlock came through it. I’m sure you could talk to a handful of boys and they’ve all had some sort of racist abuse. And as I say, it happened out there today and it’s absolutely disgusting.”
Earlier this year, two footballers from the Duffry Rovers club in Wexford were suspended for two months each after being found guilty of racially abusing Wexford underage dual player Lee Chin.