A Guinea-born Italian rugby star who was given a rotten banana in his membership’s Secret Santa says he has accepted an apology – however insisted: “Forgiveness… doesn’t mean forgetting”.
Cherif Traore, 28, shared on social media that he had been “hurt” by the “offensive” gesture made by an nameless colleague at his Italian membership aspect, Benetton – because the prop hit out at “racist jokes”.
“What hurt me most was seeing most of my mates present laughing. As if everything is normal,” he added in an Instagram put up.
Following the put up, the Treviso-based membership, who play within the United Rugby Championship, launched a press release condemning racism.
All Benetton gamers have been additionally summoned to the coaching floor on Wednesday afternoon the place they apologised to the prop and have been addressed by membership president Amerino Zatta.
Now, in a brand new put up, Traore stated he has accepted the membership’s apology.
He stated: “Christmas is kindness, Christmas is gratitude, Christmas is forgiveness… I speak these words over my life this year and I want to put them into practice.
“I’m grateful for my membership, my staff and everybody who confirmed me closeness.
“And I need to forgive, which I admit, doesn’t suggest forgetting one thing, being passive about it when it occurred.
“But I want to lick my wounds and carry on with my head up high with no weight on my heart.”
In a separate assertion following the assembly with Zatta and the gamers, Traore wrote it was “an opportunity to discuss and understand how what one of my team-mates did when exchanging Christmas presents is purely the result of idiocy and nothing else”.
“I appreciate and accept his apology and that of the entire team. I’m happy with the gesture and I’m sure what happened will make the group even more solid.”
Traore initially detailed the incident in a earlier social media put up that was subsequently deleted after which republished.
Brentford participant Rico Henry says racism in opposition to mum at Everton’s Goodison Park ‘ introduced fireplace to my abdomen’
Anti-racism marketing campaign is a part of soccer’s high degree, however has barely reached the grassroots recreation
He wrote: “Christmas is coming and as traditionally in a team it’s Secret Santa time. A friendly and playful moment. A moment where you can afford to give anonymous gifts to your mates, even stingy, ironic ones.
“When it was my flip, I discovered a banana inside my current. A rotten banana, inside a bag of moisture.
“I’m used to it, or better, I’ve had to get used to it, having to make a good face on a bad game whenever I hear racist jokes in order to try not to hate the people close to me. (This) was different though.”
Traore, who emigrated to Italy from west Africa as a seven-year-old and has gained 16 Italy caps, added that exterior Italy “a gesture like this is severely condemned even in small instances”.
Last night time, Zatta stated he was “happy” that Traore had accepted the apology.
“I am sure that this will strengthen the sense of cohesion within the group and that such a gesture will never happen again in our family,” he stated.
The membership additionally issued a brand new assertion, during which it “condemned with the utmost firmness any expression of racism and/or form of discrimination”.
In the assertion, the membership stated: “They are not part of our culture and do not represent our identity and our values. We have always proved it with deeds, not just with words, and we will continue to strongly support it.”