• Saracens to stand firmly against racism

    English Premiership side Saracens have released a statement detailing how they will raise awareness about racism when the season resumes this weekend.

    The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to protests taking part worldwide against police brutality and racism.

    The English Premier League and Championship football clubs demonstrated their solidarity against racism in a number of ways, including all players and officials taking a knee before every kick-off when the season resumed in June.

    Formula 1 racing drivers have taken a similar stand, with some taking a knee before Grand Prix races while others have worn Black Lives Matter T-shirts.

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    Attention will now shift to Premiership rugby as the 2019-20 season is set to resume this weekend, with Saracens releasing a statement affirming that they will ‘visually demonstrate’ their commitment to the fight against racism before their match against the Bristol Bears on Saturday evening.

    ‘Saracens is committed to tackling the issues of racial inequality, prejudice and underrepresentation within society and specifically within the rugby community,’ the statement read.

    ‘We want to continue to celebrate our diverse and multicultural family whilst providing a platform to speak openly and honestly about what change we want to see. We do not want to be silent or stagnant on this matter. We abhor any form of discrimination and indeed through the Saracens Sport Foundation we have a rich history of tackling social injustice and inequality through the power of sport. But we know we can do more to ensure we are seeing greater representation on and off the field within our game.

    ‘From the owner, the board, the senior management, the staff and players at Saracens we stand united. Black lives matter. We have a great chance to send a powerful message and educate people more on what this really means.  No one disputes that all lives matter, but we must accept that racial discrimination still exists and we must work towards a position where all lives are considered of equal value in society. We must not ignore the past three months and we will not sit on the fence when we have an opportunity to change perceptions.

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    ‘Racism isn’t just easily identifiable prejudice. It can be unwitting, unconscious and for those who don’t come up against it, one might never know it’s there, but we must not be blind to it.

    ‘We are a family who support each other and respect each other’s beliefs. Saracens will stand firmly against racism and social injustice and will visually demonstrate this commitment ahead of our first match against Bristol Bears in the restarted 2019-20 Gallagher Premiership campaign.

    ‘However, we will judge our success not on the wearing of a T-shirt but on the longer term impact we have as a club on tackling this societal issue.’

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    Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images