Former England and Newcastle Falcons center Luther Burrell has said he will no longer play rugby in England after saying racism was ‘widespread’ in sport and racist ‘jokes’ were common among his teammates.
The Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby issued an apology to Burrell earlier this year following an interview in which he said he was targeted with discriminatory language, including comments about slavery.
Burrell, who left Newcastle at the end of last season, said a report was due shortly after an RFU investigation into his allegations. The 34-year-old said he made a conscious decision not to play for an English club after speaking about his experience.
“When I released the stuff around what I had been through, I made the decision that I was not going to play [for a club] more in England,” Burrell said.
“When I spoke to people close to me, one thing everyone said was, ‘What if you don’t have a club? What if people cast you as the bad guy or don’t believe you? It shouldn’t really matter.
“But I’ve been thinking about my career, I thought I’d achieved everything I could achieve in this country, so I’m going to take that out of everyone’s thought process, I’m going to say I don’t want to play in the UK anymore. United .
“I don’t necessarily feel uncomfortable, I just figured if it was going to be in someone’s thought process, I’d just delete it.”
Burrell was named in the Barbarians’ provisional squad for their game against his former club Northampton Saints on November 26.
The centre, who made 15 appearances for England from 2014 to 2016, praised the RFU for the way they had investigated his allegations.
“The RFU has been fantastic, it’s great to know that things are moving to bring about change,” Burrell said.
“I said my two cents worth, I shared my experiences. But I did it in such a way that I don’t want to victimize anyone, I don’t think it would benefit anyone. whether it be.”