Joe Marler must be banned for ‘Gypsy boy’ taunt

15 March 2016

Joe Marler must be banned for ‘Gypsy boy’ taunt, says campaigner Shay Clipson

Shay Clipson, Chair of the National Alliance of Gypsy, Traveller Roma Women and TT Advocate, writes to Rugby officials and tells BBC 5 Live that England Rugby Player Joe Marler ‘must be suspended’ for his ‘Gypsy boy’ taunt to Welsh prop Samson Lee during the England versus Wales Six Nations match on Saturday.

For an account of the interview with Shay Clipson follow the link below:

Mrs Clipson has sent The Travellers’ Times a copy of her letter to the Rugby Football Union and the Six Nations, which we reproduce below:

 Dear Sirs

We write to all concerned in regard to the racially aggravated incident that occurred during the Wales –v-England Rugby Match on Saturday 12th March 2016, and request that Joe Marler is suspended for an appropriate amount of time.

While we are fully aware that Joe Marler has apologised for the using the expression ‘Gypsy boy’ towards Samson Lee, and while it is commendable that Samson has chosen to accept that apology, this does not and should not mean that the relevant authorities should feel that this should be an end to the matter.

This was a racially aggravated incident and if it is not addressed robustly then it undermines the damage and hurt that racism can and does cause, it is for this very reason that Equalities Legislation exists in UK.

Joe Marler should be reprimanded for the racist incident, not only for the offence this will have caused to Gypsy and Traveller people in UK – especially our young people who look to sports personalities as role models, but also because it brings the game into disrepute.

In 2006 when England fans were alleged to have racially abused New Zealand players, the RFU while strenuously denying the allegations went on to state that;

“The RFU abhors any form of discrimination or abuse based on colour, creed, sexual orientation or disability”

We now request that RFU live up to this statement and take robust disciplinary action against Joe Marler, whose racist behaviour cannot be denied.

Kind regards

Shay Clipson

National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women  

Tel-07830-834-899 phone calls Mon-Friday 10am -4pm