There is a challenge of integration in Ireland and dealing with racism is part of that challenge. The case of Teboga Sebala has highlighted this challenge. The Gaelic Players Association is totally opposed to racism in the game and in society. We welcome the GAA’s statement yesterday as we feel it is important that the appropriate measures are taken to address this issue in terms of penalties while also working to address racism through education and promote integration within our games.
We are part of the Show Racism the Red Card campaign which has the support of players in GAA, Rugby and Soccer. Racism should not be tolerated in any part of the game by spectators, players and volunteers. If it is not dealt with, we will fail in our efforts to promote integration.
Co-ordinator of Show Racism the Red Card Mr Garrett Mullan said: ‘Racism is unfortunately experienced by as many as one in three immigrants and one in two immigrants from African countries in Ireland, according to an ESRI report in 2006. We have been working with all of the players bodies in Ireland to promote integration and to use players to educate and promote a positive message.
Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players Association, Mr Dessie Farrell added: As a players body we condemn all forms of racism. We welcome the GAA and the Carlow County Boards pro-activity with regard to this incident. The GPA has been working closely with Show Racism The Red Card for the past four years and both the GPA and its members have supported the release of an educational DVD pack featuring players from all codes, which was distributed to schools last year in an effort to educate children and young adults. We will continue to work and support the campaign to show racism the red card.
Both the Gaelic Players Association and Show Racism the Red Card are available to support any club in dealing with this issue. Show Racism The Red Card has made contact with Eire Óg and will be running an initiative at the upcoming county final.