McCue wants GAA anti-racism clause

The insertion of an anti-discrimination clause into the GAA's Official Guide is the next step in the association's fight against racism, according to Sport Against Racism Ireland's Ken McCue.

SARI's international officer is a member of the GAA's inclusion and integration committee that advised on the standing playing rules' motion to make racism a red-card offence, which will be heard at next month's Congress.

A long term aspiration of SARI is to see racism in sport classed as a hate crime, but McCue is so far satisfied with the progress the GAA are making in tackling it.

"The GAA is a conservative organisation and anything new coming into it is always going to be slow," he said.

"But the strategy, moving from the Give Respect, Get Respect campaign and handshakes to this, has been very effective.

"The GAA are trying to integrate as many people from different backgrounds and religions into the organisation and slowly but surely they are developing the means to do that.

"The next step is to include an anti-discrimination clause in the GAA's constitution to protect diversity and equality.

"It's very important that they do that because other national government bodies would follow suit.

"We've said to (Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport) Leo Varadkar and (Junior Minister) Michael Ring that they shouldn't give out funding to national governing bodies if they don't have these anti-discrimination clauses in place.

"What it would do is bring Ireland in line with the EC White Paper on Sport. We're miles behind other countries like Germany.

"It's like building blocks and putting in the pieces as we go along. The red card is a really good one and we're currently talking with the GAA about delivering a training programme that we already have in place with CONCACAF and FIFA."

Currently, the GAA's rule 1.12 states the organisation is anti-sectarian and anti-racist.

McCue has called on all matchday GAA officials to be vigilant about racist abuse.

By John Fogarty, Irish Examiner

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