Bradford sanctioned after fans’ homophobic abuse towards James Child

RFL referee James Child

The RFL launched an investigation following complaints of homophobic comments aimed at Child during a Bulls home game against Newcastle Thunder in June and that stewards had failed to take action.

A statement said: “The investigation was satisfied that Bradford were unaware of the comments and the club have accepted that match stewards should have heard the remarks and intervened.

“In reaching an ‘Agreed Decision’ with the RFL, the club accepts that the language which was heard at the fixture in question was offensive and homophobic and has no place in the sport of rugby league.

“The club have committed to spending a minimum of £3,000 to promote an Inclusivity and Diversity Celebration home fixture in 2022, in lieu of a fine, as a more progressive and positive intervention – with an additional £1,000 fine suspended until the end of the 2022 Championship season.”

READ: Super League referee James Child happy with reaction after speaking publicly about being gay

The RFL says Bradford have already taken action to improve education and awareness of stewards, staff and fans and have agreed to ensure that the governing body’s Tackle It campaign is given greater focus at the club.

Dr Rimla Akhtar OBE, chair of the RFL Inclusion Board, said: “This is a positive outcome to an unacceptable incident.

“It is important that the sport shows this behaviour will not be tolerated and on behalf of the Inclusion Board and the RFL Board, I congratulate the Bradford club for their response.”

Meanwhile, Bradford have signed former Warrington half-back Dec Patton from Salford on a one-year deal.

Declan Patton (29) of Salford Red Devils in action during the game
Declan Patton (29) of Salford Red Devils in action during the game

Patton, 26, played more than 100 games for the Wolves, including the 2016 Super League Grand Final, before joining the Red Devils for the 2021 season.

In 2018 he won two caps for England Knights, but has found games hard to come by at the AJ Bell Stadium.

He said: “I am excited to be joining Bradford – it has been a weird couple of seasons for me not playing much. I am excited to get my career back on track and enjoy my rugby again.”

1 Comment

  1. Always were and continue to be the most horrible “Fans” in R.L. so no surprise there’s finally been some action taken against them.Long overdue

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