Luther Burrell: RFU to probe former Newcastle Falcons centre’s racism claims
The Rugby Football Union is to investigate claims from former Newcastle Falcons player Luther Burrell regarding racism in the sport.
Burrell, 32, said racism is “rife” in the sport, with racist “banter” becoming “normalised” among team-mates.
Falcons had already launched their own internal investigation to determine whether the racism he experienced happened while at the Premiership club.
However, the club says it will now be conducted by the RFU.
Ex-England centre Burrell was released by the Falcons in June after two seasons.
“We wanted the investigation to be fully independent and, as such, we agreed that the RFU would conduct the investigation and we will review their findings and recommendations before deciding on any appropriate action,” a Newcastle statement said.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Burrell said he has been on the receiving end of comments about slavery and bananas and he wanted to “empower younger generations” by speaking out.
He added he will “never name names but it’s gone on for too long”.
Burrell, capped 15 times by England, previously played for Northampton Saints between 2012 and 2019, winning the Premiership title with them.
However, Saints said they had been “reassured” he did not experience such abuse while with the team.
Newcastle added all club employees “are currently undertaking equality, diversity and inclusion refresher training”.
“We are determined to continue to be a fully inclusive club,” they said in their statement.
Burrell made his professional debut in 2006 and also played for Leeds and Sale, while he switched codes to rugby league and played for Warrington Wolves in 2019.