Marland Yarde put out a strongly-worded tweet a month ago condemning the treatment of some of his South African team-mates at Sale who had received death threats after choosing not to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It made a few headlines for a couple of weeks, and in the past that might have been the end of the story. But not anymore. Not after watching George Floyd’s killing.
The impact on Yarde was huge – it took him two to three months to be able to sit through the video, and when he did there was a mixture of horror and grief.
He says it was “devastating to see” and “it is time for change for people to put their hands up and stick up for their rights”, which is why he felt the need to tell his story.
Floyd’s death and the reaction worldwide that followed created discussions and the conversations are becoming a little bit less uncomfortable, says Yarde.
“Being a black person I think it is difficult for me to speak to other people about racism,” he tells Sky Sports News. “I have experienced it in the past and a lot of times it comes across like you are victimising yourself, which is far from the truth.”
As a kid born in Saint Lucia growing up in Croydon, Yarde experienced racism and he worked out pretty quickly he needed to develop a very thick skin. A scholarship gave him the opportunity to play rugby, which he says would never have happened otherwise.
He made his mark at London Irish and in 2013 he was called up to play for England on their tour of Argentina. He made his debut in the second Test, it was meant to be one of the proudest days of his life but the memories aren’t fond ones.
“I was racially abused on the pitch and also on Twitter after the game, which I retweeted but was told to take it down. I felt a need to show people what was going on,” he says.
Others it seemed didn’t. It wasn’t a one-off incident.
Earlier this season the Sale winger claimed he was racially abused by a spectator during a Premiership game. He doesn’t want to name the club where the incident took place.
(Read more at:- https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/12079896/marland-yarde-sale-sharks-winger-speaks-out-on-racism-george-floyd-and-black-lives-matter)