Racing 92 condemn ‘racist insults’ directed at Simon Zebo
Former Munster player tweeted after defeat to Ulster that he had suffered abuse in Belfast
Racing 92 have released a statement on ‘racist insults’ directed at Simon Zebo during the Champions Cup defeat to Ulster in Belfast. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
French club Racing 92 have said that the alleged abuse aimed at winger Simon Zebo last weekend in their match against Ulster in Belfast was racist in nature.
The French Top 14 club condemned the behaviour of unnamed individuals in Kingspan Stadium and said that Zebo was targeted.
The Irish winger, who moved to Paris from Munster, scored a try in the European round five match and was booed by the crowd. He said afterwards in a tweet that he also suffered verbal abuse, although initially he did not specifically say it was racist.
The French club released a statement last night.
“Racing 92 strongly condemns the racist insults that Simon Zebo was targeted with on Saturday during the European Cup game between this club and Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.
“Racism has no place in rugby, in which the values of solidarity and togetherness are the exact opposite of any forms of discrimination.
“Racing, however, does not wish to stigmatise Ulster Rugby as a whole. The insults suffered by Simon Zebo are the actions of only one or two individuals and have been condemned by many Ulster fans who have shown their support for Simon.”
Zebo’s Tweet referred to Quentin Tarantino’s movie Django Unchained in which the main character is a black American slave.
“A tough place to play but great effort from the boys,2 important points on the road. Also I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd #NotOn Django wins in the end,” said the tweet.
Ulster Rugby also said in a statement that they are appealing to anyone who may have heard the abuse.
“Ulster Rugby strongly condemns all forms of abuse and is working with the relevant parties to conduct a robust investigation,” said the statement.
“The club is appealing for anyone who can assist with this investigation to contact Ulster Rugby, in confidence, with a detailed account.
“If there is evidence of ticket holders taking part in any such abusive behaviour, the club will take the strongest possible action.”
Dan McFarland the former Connacht player and current Ulster coach said to the BBC that if the comments are not part of Ulster’s ethos. The coach added that anything racist in nature was not acceptable.
“When something like that happens, if it happens, it’s taken extremely seriously and will be dealt with.
“If there’s anybody out there who knows what happened, if something happened, and can give information on that, we want to know because nobody should have to put up with that.”
“We are aware of Simon’s tweet and the discussion around that,” McFarland said. “If that (the comments) did happen, it is totally unacceptable. This is a club where inclusivity plays a huge part.
“And anything that goes against that is totally unacceptable. I know that as an organisation that is totally the position we take.”