Saturday 24 February 2018

Leinster to investigate racism claim


Leinster are investigating an allegation of racism made by Northampton prop Brian Mujati against Steven Sykes and Heinke van der Merwe following Friday night's game between the teams at Donnybrook.

Mujati tweeted after the game as follows: "Steven Sykes and Heinke van der Merwe were calling me a baboon during the scrums last night. Racism is still alive and things don't change."

He followed with: "The guy then tries to shake my hand after the game. Naturally I kindly told him to fuck off. I wish them all the best with their careers. I was shocked by how blatant they were being and to think I actually thought I knew Heinke from back in the Lions days."

The comments were subsequently removed from Twitter.

A Leinster statement yesterday confirmed it had started a "full internal investigation", adding: "The managements of both teams are in close communication and hopefully the matter will be resolved as soon as possible. No further comment will be made until that resolution has been reached."

The (English) RFU are also understood to be investigating the matter.

It is understood that the South African duo, who are denying using any racial slur, will claim they use the word 'bobbejaan' as a trigger call at the scrum which focuses the pack on the job in hand, and that it comes from their time playing in South Africa. The word translates as baboon.

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