25 May 2021

One Year On

One year on - an open letter from Super League interim executive chairman, Ken Davy

The death of George Floyd, one year ago today, had a huge impact across the world, it brought focus and attention on the need for society to do more to fight discrimination.

One year on from his death we now need to reflect what has been achieved in the last 12 months and what further work needs to be done.

Super League realises the importance of maintaining our commitment to ensuring we have a representative and diverse playing talent pool and supporter base. It is fully committed to driving forward the sport’s Tackle It Action Plan, ensuring we play our part in bringing about positive change towards inclusion, diversity and anti-discrimination not only within our game but the communities in which our clubs are based.

Rugby League has a rich heritage of black players and coaches within the game, often leading the way for others to follow. To continue to attract outstanding individuals, such as past legends Roy Francis, Ellery Hanley and Jason Robinson into our game, we need to hero them and the current black players to inspire the next generation.

As part of this commitment during Black History month, last October we showcased and recognised the impact made by black players in the sport over the past 125 years. We told many forgotten stories about trailblazers that broke down barriers - read them here.

In particular we focussed on the great Clive Sullivan MBE, who was an inspiration and left a lasting mark on the city of Hull. 

We will continue to champion these individuals so everyone can see the impact black players and coaches have had and continue to have on our great sport.

Education is a key part of tackling discrimination so people can understand the experiences other people have been through and how we still live in an unequal society today.

In the last twelve months our content has tackled many difficult topics. Michael Lawrence, James Child and Jodie Cunningham have all featured on the Super League Podcast, Out of Your League, to talk about their personal experiences, whether that’s dealing with homophobic or racial abuse or the inequalities in our society.

The recently announced Rainbow Laces round, in association with Stonewall and supported by Sky Sports, is a further step in Super League’s commitment to play our part in making our sport everyone’s game.

We will continue to work with our clubs, players, partners, fans and media to attract more supporters and players from diverse backgrounds. Striving for audiences that are a true reflection of the communities our clubs and players represent.

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