Top Irish sporting official apologises after making ‘Black Dives Matter’ comment under BBC story about Raheem Sterling being fouled for England’s decisive penalty against Denmark
- Bernard O’Byrne commented ‘Black Dives Matter’ under a BBC article on Facebook about the penalty awarded to Sterling in Euros semi-final
- O’Byrne, who is now the head of Basketball Ireland, has deleted the comment
- He apologised for the comment and said it was ‘an error of judgement’
Bernard O’Byrne, who is now the head of Basketball Ireland, made the comment under a BBC article on Facebook about the penalty awarded to Sterling after he went down in extra-time of the Euros semi-final match.
The remark by O’Byrne has led to widespread condemnation and a member of Basketball Ireland’s diversity and inclusion committee has stood down in protest.
O’Byrne has since deleted the comment and said it was ‘an error of judgement’.
Bernard O’Byrne, the former head of the Irish FA has apologised after he commented ‘Black Dives Matter’ on a BBC story about Raheem Sterling being fouled during England’s game against Denmark
Bernard O’Byrne, who is now the head of Basketball Ireland, made the comment under a BBC article on Facebook about the penalty awarded to Sterling after he went down in extra-time of the Euros semi-final match
‘My choice of words commenting on a penalty incident were not thought out,’ O’Byrne said in a statement. ‘It was an error of judgement and I wholeheartedly apologise for the comments.’
Basketball Ireland said in a statement the organisation ‘would like to stress its ongoing commitment to inclusion and basketball’s diverse community, which has been led by Mr O’Byrne in recent years.’
A spokesperson for the organisation told The Irish Times that the board had met on Friday morning to discuss the social media post and a further statement is expected.
O’Byrne had made the comment about the penalty awarded to England after Sterling went down
But the post caused a backlash amongst members of the public but also from within Basketball Ireland itself.
Hillary Nets, a member of the organisation’s diversity and inclusion committee, stood down from his position in protest and said there must be consequences.
‘After everything that people have gone through in terms of trying to be included into sport and just looking at how diverse our sport actually is, it was an insensitive comment to be put up,’ Nets told RTE Radio.
‘I think a more public statement from himself [is needed],’ he said. ‘There has to be some sort of consequence,’ adding that people felt ‘betrayed’.
One social media user wrote: ‘Afro-Irish players who have represented Ireland home and abroad deserve better. This type of behaviour cannot be tolerated from a senior member of the executive team.’