In a recent and troubling incident at Sandy Park, Exeter Chiefs have taken swift action to address an allegation of racial abuse directed at former England international Ugo Monye.
The accused individual, identified by the club, is now under investigation by the police, who have been provided with CCTV footage of the incident.
While Exeter chairman Tony Rowe refrained from commenting on the ongoing investigation, reports suggest that the individual in question is a man in his early 40s, of mixed race, and was reportedly on vacation from his home in South Africa.
The incident unfolded after Exeter Chiefs secured a narrow 25-24 victory, with Monye, part of the TNT Sports team, becoming the target of racial slurs from a supporter.
Monye expressed his dismay on Twitter, describing it as “the most blatant racism I’ve seen from a supporter at a live game.”
Exeter Chiefs released a statement condemning the incident, affirming their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy for such behaviour.
The club promptly shared all relevant information, including CCTV footage, with Devon and Cornwall Police, underscoring their cooperation with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation.
Expressing gratitude for the overwhelming response from the public, the club emphasised that the abhorrent behaviour of one individual does not reflect the sentiments of the broader fanbase.
They assured that they are taking all necessary measures in accordance with the advice of relevant authorities.
Former Harlequins player Monye, visibly upset by the incident, took to social media to express his disappointment not only with the perpetrator but also with the lack of intervention from fellow spectators. He highlighted the need for collective action against racism, urging fans to speak out against such behaviour.
“Leaving Sandy Park and one supporter running through crowd starts shouting ‘n***a, n***a’, disgraceful.
“Not a single person said a word, challenged or even reported it.
“He walks off after a mild scuffle, and fans are now telling me, ‘We’re with you’. Bollocks, you’re with me. You weren’t with me when you saw and heard the most blatant racism I’ve seen from a supporter at a live game. [I’m] so fed up.”
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed it is investigating the incident.
Superintendent Antony Hart said: “We have been made aware of an incident which happened on Sunday 19 November at Sandy Park in Exeter.
“We are working with the club and our enquiries are currently ongoing into the incident.
“We take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously, and we will not tolerate this behaviour.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed an ongoing investigation into the incident, reiterating their commitment to addressing hate crimes.
Superintendent Antony Hart emphasised the seriousness with which such reports are treated, emphasising a strong stance against intolerant behaviour within sporting communities.