PPF - 4th July 2024 - Brendon Batson calls for professional sport to promote more Inclusion

PPF - 4th July 2024 - Brendon Batson calls for professional sport to promote more Inclusion

July 2024

Brendon Batson OBE, the chair of the Professional Players Federation and long-time anti-racism campaigner, today called for leaders in sport to up their game to promote inclusion and ensure that the we learn from the experiences of former players so that we stop missing out on talent and ensure everyone has the chance to excel in their chosen sport.

Brendon was speaking as part of the PPF Inclusion in Sport Week event on the 4th July at the Kia Oval in London. The day bought together different sports to hear from experts and players on issues such as Inclusive Leadership, Active Allyship and Neurodiversity in Sport.

Brendon Batson OBE, Chair of the PPF said:

“As black players we went through a lot back in the 1970s. Whilst a lot of progress has been made, hearing players’ experiences today at the PPF Inclusion in Sport Week event has shown how much more needs to be done.”

Simone Pound, Chair of the PPF’s EDI Committee and Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the PFA said:

“We heard great examples of projects promoting inclusion in sport today, but the lived experiences of players shows that there remain issues within every sport. Sport needs to listen to its players more and unions have a big role to play in amplifying their voices.”

Ashton Hewitt, Chair of the WRPA and player with the Dragons RFC said:

“Rugby is an amazing game that should be enjoyed by everybody throughout society. It is everybody's responsibility to ensure that not just rugby, but sport in general, actively combats discrimination and works toward true inclusivity for all.”

The discussions at the PPF’s Inclusion in Sport event made it clear that all stakeholders need to continue to work together to prioritise inclusion and break down the discrimination that too many athletes still face in sport in the UK today.

After today’s election, the PPF calls for the new Minister for Sport to commit to going out and talking to young diverse players and listening to what they are saying.