Maro Itoje is a rugby union player and England international. He spoke about the current state of racism in football, citing that rugby should do more to tackle it as well.
Maro Itoje, the England rugby union player, has said that rugby union needs to do more to deal with racism. He believes there needs to be a greater effort in educating players and fans about what constitutes racist behavior.
Itoje is an important player for both the club and the nation.
Maro Itoje, a forward for the British and Irish Lions and England, believes rugby union should do more to combat prejudice and enhance diversity in the sport.
The Saracens lock addressed race in rugby with his old headmaster Floyd Steadman, an ex-scrum-half for Itoje’s club and the first black captain in English rugby union’s top flight.
Steadman went on to become headmaster at Salcombe Prep School in north London after his playing career, when he introduced a young Itoje to the sport.
Itoje told Radio 5 Live, “Rugby has to cast its net broader to accommodate more people and attract more talent.”
“The Rugby Football Union does a great deal. Is there anything more they can do? Perhaps. Premiership Rugby accomplishes a number of goals. Is there anything more they can do? Definitely. Premiership clubs are most likely not doing as much as they should. Is there anything more they can do? a hundred percent
“The larger our collective investment in this, the better the result.”
“It has to do more to recruit young rugby players from a variety of backgrounds, settings, and socioeconomic groupings; if it does, everyone benefits.”
“There will be a better game and a better product, which will lead to more fans, more people engaged, and more demand for the broadcasters in terms of television and for the investors.”
“When the game is more diversified, everyone wins.”
The RFU established an independent diversity and inclusion advisory committee earlier this year, which will “form goals” and “challenge the RFU’s success” in this area.
Former England winger Ugo Monye chairs the group, with former England World Cup winner and current Wasps Ladies director of rugby Giselle Mather serving as vice-chair.
“Ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic position, sexual orientation, and age” are presently the “priority areas for action,” according to the RFU.
Steadman expressed his pride in what athletes like Itoje were doing to raise awareness about racism and diversity.
“Some of what I had to deal with was racial abuse during my playing days, but a lot of it was unconscious racism from spectators, opponents, and teammates,” he remembers.
“It was also a lot of terminology that people believed was suitable at the time, but I realized it wasn’t.”
“People make judgments based on my skin color, and I’ve forced them to look at me, the guy, again.”
With England, Itoje has won three Six Nations Championships.
Itoje is known for his anti-racism attitude, and he recently became a patron of The Black Curriculum, a social venture that strives to fill the holes in the present UK school curriculum by teaching black British history all year.
He added, “We’re all on this road together.” “I think that the more we talk to one another, the more we understand one another, and the more we educate one another on other people’s ideas, ways of living, and ways of perceiving things, the closer we will go to a more fair society.”
While Itoje still takes the knee before games, he claims he doesn’t feel let down when his England teammates aren’t there.
“One thing that all the England players have in common is that they are all against racism, prejudice, and any type of racial abuse,” he adds.
“Each player must decide whether or not they are comfortable doing so, and each player will have their own set of reasons.”
“I’m not going to suggest that not taking the knee implies you’re a racist; that’s oversimplified.”
“However, although I feel symbolic gestures are vital, the most important thing is to perform the job not just in public but also in private.”
- how to play rugby
- where did rugby originate