Charlotte, NC – The Charlotte Royals Rugby Football Club, founded by and predominately comprised of queer men and allies, shared that they have always had the intention to stand with and for justice and equality for minority communities. “As a rugby club we are united and steadfast in our call for justice for the oppressed and believe fervently that black and brown lives matter,” they shared.

            The team issued the following statement in response to recent social injustices and racism: “Let us start this statement by saying we have let our players, club members, supporters, opponents, and extended rugby family down with previous actions and inactions as a club. We, as leadership, did not focus our efforts responsibly to stay true to our mission statement in all the ways we should have. This is not a request for forgiveness, but a recognition that we have work to do and an open invitation for anyone and everyone to hold us accountable. To be silent or passive is to be complicit and we cannot do either while upholding our values. To those past and present who have felt diminished, unrepresented, unwelcome, or unrecognized by the Charlotte Royals, we extend our sincerest apologies. But we also recognize that those words cannot be enough. Support without action is status quo. We must work to better identify ways in which we have actively or passively supported racism and other discrimination and amend or eliminate those practices as appropriate.”

            Some of the ways in which the Royals plan to address this include: Putting an end to rugby songs after matches [because] verses from many of these songs have promoted everything from racism to sexism, toxic masculinity/femininity, ableism, religious discrimination, sex worker discrimination, and more; expiring use of the term “Zulu Run.” “For those unfamiliar, this was used to refer to a tradition to celebrate players who had scored their first try for the club. Use of this term promotes cultural appropriation. That is unacceptable and must be addressed; instances or reports of discrimination involving club members will be addressed directly and without ambiguity; ensuring that the affiliates they work with align with the team’s values; working to ensure that the board of directors effectively represents the diversity of the club in race, age, gender, nationality and all other ways in which the club’s “differences are its strengths; making more concerted efforts within the club to create platforms for discussion on discrimination in all its forms; and, as imperative discussions continue more steps will be taken to further create an environment welcome to all. “This is just the start,” the Royals added. For information: charlotteroyalsrugby.com. (Q Notes Online – Lainey Millen at https://goqnotes.com/66081/rugby-team-issues-blm-solidarity-statement/)

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