THREE community club volunteers have been suspended from all Rugby League activity, including spectating at matches, following an RFL investigation into alleged discriminatory comments about the Wakefield Trinity player Corey Hall shared on their club’s WhatsApp group.
The three men, members of the Sheffield Hawks club, denied making racist comments in response to a photograph of Hall which had been posted on the group chat. However, an Operational Rules Tribunal ruled that the various comments and reactions posted by the individuals were ‘clearly directed towards and mocking the colour of Corey Hall’s skin’.
Tribunal chair, Her Honour Judge Sarah Wright, concluded that ‘each of the three men used unacceptable language based on colour and/or ethnicity’ and that despite protestations their comments were ‘unacceptable and racist’.
Two of the men are suspended for 12 months; the third for six. All three must undertake and pay for an RFL-approved inclusion and diversity course if they want to volunteer in the sport again.
RFL Inclusion Lead Ben Abberstein says: “We thank Sheffield Hawks for their cooperation and we welcome the tribunal’s decision. It demonstrates that the process works and sends out the message that there is no place for racism in Rugby League.”
Anybody with concerns about racist or other unacceptable language or behaviour can report them via the RFL website.