David Argyle fires himself as Toronto Chairman & CEO over racism claims

James Messenger

David Argyle has fired himself as Chairman and CEO of Toronto after allegations of racism were made by Swinton’s Jose Kenga. 

Kenga took to social media to express his outrage after comments were made by the Wolfpack CEO following their match at Lamport Stadium on April 28.

The Lions forwards claimed that following the game, Argyle asked him, “Do they allow black people in Swinton?” while passing him a drinks token.

Argyle apologised to Kenga yesterday, but has decided to step away from the club after the remarks were brought to light.

Kenga took to social media again yesterday to say that, although Argyle had personally apologised via FaceTime, the issue still needed to be “severely addressed” by the sport’s governing body.

Now, Argyle, who has been a part of the club since they played their first season in League One back in 2017, has decided step away from the club.

He added that he will continue to meet his financial obligations as owner until a permanent successor has been appointed.

In an open letter to fans, he said: “I was incredibly careless with my words when speaking to Swinton Lions player Jose Kenga after our game at Lamport Stadium on 28th April 2019.

“I understand the unwitting racist connotations of what I said and the distress caused to Jose. Jose was gracious to take a video call with me today,  I apologised and we discussed the matter in depth.

“I also fully support Jose’s decision to go on social media. I called Swinton RFLC, which I respect and admire as a club.

“If any other member of our Wolfpack family had made that comment I made, on balance, regardless context and environment, I would have fired them. Therefore that also applies to me, so I am firing myself as Chairman and CEO.

“We have begun a process to find the correct person(s) to achieve the founding objectives of the club in the role of Chairman and CEO.

“Interim duties will be picked up by our long standing executive team on both sides of the Atlantic. My financial obligations and commitments to the club, players, employees, sponsors, suppliers & broadcast partners will be met so that our objective to deliver the best club rugby in the world in Toronto, UK & France remain.

“The Wolfpack and our new Chairman and CEO will remain firmly behind the core values and beliefs that make up the foundation of this organisation.

“I am very proud of what the entire Wolfpack organization has achieved in the last 2 and a half years.  I leave with a heavy heart as I have disgraced rugby and my family which I love.”