Prominent figures in the world of rugby league have rallied behind the campaign to combat hate crime in a series of new videos produced by our team.
Isaac Shaw, Reece Lyne, and Beth Cain, players from Wakefield Trinity, are championing the message that hatred is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our district. They are joined by athletes and young individuals from Castleford RUFC, Pontefract RUFC, and Sharlston Rovers.
Councillor Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “Sadly, in our district more than 1,000 hate crime incidents were reported over the last year. The largest proportion of reports were due to hate crime based on race or disability.
“To abuse or attack someone because of who they are is unforgivable. In our district many hate crimes go unreported. We owe it to the victims to keep challenging the despicable attitudes that keep hate crime alive.
“And, as our videos highlight, when it comes to tackling it, we are all a team and have a role to play in stopping it. I’d like to thank our local rugby clubs for their support on this important campaign.”
These videos are being disseminated on social media and through local organisations, with the aim of raising awareness during National Hate Crime Week, which continues until the 21st of October. This initiative is coordinated by Stop Hate UK, and this year, they are urging individuals to combat hate by standing as allies and reporting any hate they witness or experience.
Mark Brennan, Head of the Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation, said: “As a club and Foundation, we wholeheartedly support this campaign. There is no place in society for hate crime of any nature.
“We pride ourselves on being at the heart of the community and work daily with people from all walks of life and are an inclusive organisation that supports everyone.
“Across the club, we play and support all forms of Rugby League – women’s, girls, wheelchair, physical and learning disability, and the men’s game. This shows our commitment to providing opportunities for all to be involved in our great sport.
“We are one of only a handful of clubs to support all forms of the game, and additionally we provide social Rugby League opportunities.”
Hate crime is defined as an offence or incident perceived by the victim or any other individual as being motivated by prejudice or animosity based on race, religion or belief, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This encompasses verbal abuse, harassment, threats, intimidation, physical assault, and vandalism
Online resources on how to report a hate crime, where individuals can seek assistance if they’ve been victimised, or learn how to support someone who has can be found at www.wakefield.gov.uk/hatecrime.