Many will already be aware that NAGTRW has taken a very hard and vocal stance on this matter and have written to The Culture Minister, the WRU, RFU, 6 Nations, World Rugby, and many others to air our feelings in regard to this.

It is not the use of the word ‘Gypsy’ that is the issue here, those of us from a Romany background will mostly identify ourselves as “Romany Gypsy’ people.

 This issue here is that ;-

The comment was made aggressively and the clear intention was to rile and insult Samson Lee.

 Would it have been acceptable if another player had his ethnicity used in this manner e.g. ‘Black Boy” – “Jew Boy’ – or his sexual orientation e.g. ‘Gay Boy”

 Of course not

The law in UK and EU is very clear that you cannot make derogatory comment to another in regard to Race, Colour, Creed , sexual orientation of disability.

The RFU rules are very clear that such conduct will result in an automatic 4-week ban, but in this case those rules were not applied, and that in itself demonstrates that Samson’s Lees ethnicity was not regarded equally.


It does not Matter that Joe Marler apologised, nor does it matter that Samson Lee accepted his apology – what matters is;

  • That there was an incident that took place and that incident had a racial element.
  • The incident took place in a public arena
  • The comment made was potentially heard by millions of people
  • The rules that police such incidents were not applied.

EQUALITY -We ask for no more - We accept no less