GURFC apologises for ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ remarks made at anniversary event

The clubs say they were ‘shocked and appalled’

Glasgow University's Rugby Clubs have publicly apologised for speeches made at an anniversary event in which speakers were accused of making "sexist" and "racist" comments.

In a Facebook post made by both clubs, they said: "As rugby clubs we were shocked and appalled at elements of the content which in no way reflect our values or beliefs."

A student present at the event told The Glasgow Tab: "I don't think anyone in the audience was enjoying the speeches. I don't understand how the speakers couldn't read the room. Nobody was laughing – everyone was just shocked."

According to The Evening Times, the speeches made at the event were reportedly heckled by the audience.

Both clubs posted a full apology to their Facebook pages, which read: "We would like to unreservedly apologise to those who attended the 150th Anniversary Rugby Club Dinner on Saturday 16 November and who may have been offended by some of the speeches.

"We have reached out to offer a personal apology to some of the top table guests and have made arrangements for an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held as soon as possible to discuss Saturday’s event and the behaviour of certain individuals.

"To repeat, the views that were expressed – regardless of whether it was an attempt at humour – have no place in our clubs, our sports department or our University.

"Saturday should have been about celebrating a great anniversary and marking the progress that has been made in both the men’s and women’s game.

"We are extremely disappointed and will not allow outdated views and attitudes within our clubs which are open and welcoming to all students of the University of Glasgow."

Players for both clubs have spoken out on Facebook. One student made specific reference to comments allegedly made by guest speakers Dr Bobby Low and former British and Irish Lion and Scottish Internationalist Roger Baird.

The post said their words and actions "go against everything Scottish Rugby stands for.

"None of this is 'locker room chat.' None of these 'generational differences' should be allowed to persist. This is not the spirit of rugby."

Glasgow University said it is "fully supportive" of the clubs' statement and condemns "any behaviour which does not match the University’s position of zero-tolerance of intolerant behaviour."