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IRFU keen to show solidarity and back 'Black Lives Matter' campaign

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Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson. Photo: Sportsfile

The IRFU is considering ways to support the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign at board level.

Last week, Ireland internationals Adam Byrne and Linda Djougang penned first-person articles detailing their experiences of their experiences of being black in Ireland. Both Leinster stars spoke of the racism they'd suffered as they wrote of their hope for a better future.

The Black Lives Matter cause has been supported across the sporting world in the past month in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, most pointedly in the English Premier League where players have worn the slogan on their jerseys and boots during games, as well as taking a symbolic knee before matches start in solidarity with the movement.

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson last night told an online meeting with fans that the union is considering ways to support the movement.

"It's been an issue that has probably been ignored by people of my vintage because we had little or no experience of it, but I do think our schools and clubs are doing very well," Dawson said. "We just have to support it.

"We talked about it at a management meeting with both the IRFU and the provinces this morning; about how we would go about making ourselves more relevant in supporting this cause.

"I think as an organisation we want to be as inclusive as possible in every shape or form whether it's gender or race or whatever.

"We need to think about and work out how exactly we can be relevant in helping this cause."

Leinster coach Leo Cullen said the province want to make themselves more inclusive.

"We could always do more," he said. "I always think we can do better with everything we do.

"It's great that people share their experience and we're all learning from those.

"As a province it is important that we're sharing as much of our experience in the professional side through to our clubs and schools and we're open with those clubs and schools. That we're open.

"That spreads to an openness at grassroots level, so we're able to get the reach of every grassroots player - male or female - that wants to come through and play for Leinster regardless of their background or where they came from.

"That should be a realistic dream for everybody."

Irish Independent