Harlequins star’s message to public after ‘absolutely disgraceful’ treatment of Ugo Monye

James While
Harlequins wing Cadan Murley alongside club legend Ugo Monye.

Harlequins wing Cadan Murley alongside club legend Ugo Monye.

Harlequins wing Cadan Murley has slammed the treatment of club great and former England international Ugo Monye at a recent club game as “absolutely disgraceful”.

Monye witnessed “blatant racism” when he was leaving Sandy Park after last week’s Premiership match between Exeter and Gloucester, which led to a full investigation.

The culprit has since been identified after what was a hugely disappointing moment for the sport and one that angered TNT pundit Monye and the public across social media.

Murley gives his view

Murley feels strongly that the power of rugby union to bring people together from all aspects of society is vital, but admits the recent treatment of Monye did upset him.

“Absolutely disgraceful,” the Harlequins wing told Planet Rugby when asked his view.

“We’ve got to get better at holding people accountable. The incident at Sandy Park was hugely disappointing and I think if you hear anything like that in our sport, it’s got to be reported and there’s got to be people holding those… well, bigots basically, who are so hurtful in their ignorance to task.

“It’s disgraceful and disgusting to have that pinned to rugby and it doesn’t represent us as a sport.

“We want to try and stamp that out of our game as much as we can. We want anyone no matter what race, no matter what sexuality, to be able to go to any rugby club in the world. Put on a pair of boots, put a smile on your face and play with other lads that and have fun.

“Sport can be such a powerful tool to put smiles on faces and meet new friends.”

Murley added: “With regards to Uges, I think when we have idiots like that tarnishing our sport it then we need to call it out. It disappointed me that nobody did that and we as a community need to be better in holding them to account and to help drive the standards that allows everyone to be welcome without conforming to any form of cliched norm.

Listening is crucial

“My message is clear – be yourself but those around you need to create an environment where you can be yourself to help that.

“I think sometimes we hide behind this word ‘banter’ when really you’ve got to be there for your mates when those honest conversations happen. You’ve got to be able to sit down and listen – I think listening is such a powerful tool.

“We always say at Quins, listen to everyone’s opinion, even if you don’t agree, listen to it first, and it might alter what you think – but the key is, be a good listener and support everyone around you – then you’ll have that inclusive and honest environment you want to see.”

Cadan Murley was speaking to James While at the Premiership HITZ awards where he was the guest of honour, delivering community rugby achievement recognitions.

READ MORE: Cadan Murley exclusive: Harlequins’ ‘wake-up call’ and his conversation with England head coach Steve Borthwick