Violence and sexism mar Bristol Varsity Rugby
‘Some of those chants were absolutely disgusting’
Yesterday’s Bristol v UWE Varsity Rugby match witnessed a number of incidents that both universities are currently investigating.
A controversial “UWE Varsity Chant sheet” circulated at the game has been roundly condemned by the committee of the Bristol University Intersectional Feminist Society.
One chant reads as follows: “UWE boys, we are here, shag your women and drink your beer” whilst another goes: “Bristol girls , make more noise, when they’re shagging UWE boys, with a flip flap, fanny whack, give the whore a bone”.
Another said that: “they’re thick, they’re scum, they’re full of UWE cum, Bristol girls… Bristol girls!” whilst another, to the tune of “Baa baa black sheep” read: “Raa raa, posh kids, don’t worry about our fees, be more concerned about your mother on her knees.” The creators are believed to be the three UWE students named at the bottom of the song sheet.
Fem Soc Vice President Rowena Salmon commented: “I think that some of those chants were absolutely disgusting and the fact that students could feel comfortable enough with those words to sign their names shows how misogyny continues to be pervasive in student sporting communities and lad culture. I’m satisfied that this has been brought to the attention of uwe and their SU, so I hope the students responsible will learn something from this.”
One UWE final year student who preferred to remain anonymous told The Tab that: “It is worth noting that UWE is not alone in using offensive chants, ‘our taxes pay your benefits’ being a Bristol chant that comes to mind. Hopefully those responsible will be given the chance to apologise before official action is taken.”
According to various accounts of the evening, at least one flare was thrown onto the pitch after UWE scored a try in the men’s rugby match. The game itself finished 11-10 to Bristol, who also triumphed in the women’s match, slaughtering their hapless opponents 61-7.
Following a tense conclusion, anger swept through sections of the crowd. According to eye witness Harry Eastley-Jones: “At the end of the game both sides were chanting at each other whilst leaving, so UWE had to be held back as it was very intense- I saw police turn up in the vans with mesh on them”.
Bristol first year Lily Griffey Hill confirmed this: “All that was there to divide the two sides were some empty bins and stewards. The police were called and took like 20 minutes to arrive. Three UWE coaches were cancelled because of the violent nature of the end of the game and two other coaches were redirected because students were banging on the side of them”.
The anger spilt over into violence in at least one instance. Second year electrical engineer Matt Newton was waiting for an Uber to arrive when a UWE student punched him in the face for wearing a UBU jacket, causing him to require five stitches.
Although one volunteer staff member suggested at the event that no further Varsity events would be held at the newly refurbished Ashton Gate for fear of damage, no official announcements have been made as to the location of future UWE/Bristol contests.
In a press release, Bristol SU commented: “We’re very disappointed to confirm that there was a disturbance involving a number of fans from both universities as they left the stadium after last night’s Varsity match.”
“We understand sheets were distributed advocating offensive chanting. Bristol SU has a zero tolerance policy towards sexist language of this nature which is deeply unacceptable. We are speaking to UWE SU and the University to establish exactly what happened and what, if any, action needs to be taken.”