Sevens veteran Charity Williams shared a screenshot of several tweets from Jamie Cudmore, a former Canadian men’s team player, after the women’s team missed the quarter-finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. One of the tweets deleted from Cudmore’s account read “Karma is a bitch! #Survivorsmyass. Rugby Canada has confirmed that the tweet came from Cudmore’s account.
“We take this matter very seriously and have concluded that immediate action must be taken,” Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen said in a statement. Cudmore was also relieved of his coaching duties with the 15-year-old men’s team.
1/5: Rugby Canada has relieved Jamie Cudmore of his coaching duties with the Canadian Rugby Development Academy and the Men’s Rugby Team effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/AiTW7uuxuM
“Rugby Canada’s core values, including integrity and respect, must be exemplified in all of our rugby programs and we are committed to promoting a healthy and inclusive culture now and into the future,” said Sally Dennis, Rugby Canada Board Chair, in the press release. .
The organization previously condemned the comments and said it was meeting to address the issue.
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Williams began her post by expressing how proud she was of her team, regardless of the results on the pitch. “What we’ve accomplished this year is more than a weekend,” Williams wrote on Instagram.
Williams was referring to a formal complaint filed by the team in January under Rugby Canada’s bullying and harassment policy.
“But instead, I have to sit here, once again, and share what we’ve been through as a team. The constant hatred we have received from members of our own organization, ”Williams wrote. “I only share because that’s what we’ve been dealing with for months.
“From private texts to public harassment online and in person. The bullying and harassment we have suffered for protesting is sometimes outrageous and frightening. This is the reason why we asked for an internal investigation because we were not safe. ”
An independent review in April concluded that while the conduct described in the complaint filed by 37 current and former team members reflected the experiences of the athletes, it did not meet Rugby Canada’s policy definition of harassment or harassment. ‘intimidation.
Head coach John Tait later resigned, while maintaining that he had done nothing wrong.
In a statement released on April 28, the players said their complaint “explained the psychological abuse, harassment and / or intimidation these athletes feel they are subjected to in the centralized training environment.”
Following the investigation, players said they were disappointed with Rugby Canada’s policy of harassment and bullying. The policy has since been updated and replaced.
“We are proud and united”, writes the captain
Williams also expressed his gratitude to those who supported the team. “We have heard you and we love you. We don’t regret a single moment and the team has their heads held high right now, ”Williams wrote.
Captain Ghislaine Landry also took to social media from Tokyo.
“We always knew it was more than rugby, more than a tournament, even though it’s the Olympics,” Landry wrote. “We knew the last nine months could jeopardize our Olympic dream, we had this group discussion, and the decision was still clear. We were ready to put our dreams at risk for change.
“It wasn’t a distraction, but it cost us dearly. And so, even though our hearts are broken for not being able to play our best, we are proud and united. “
The Canadian team entered Tokyo with medal expectations after winning bronze in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut five years ago in Rio. The team got off to a strong start against Brazil, but lost their next two games to Fiji and France.
Canada still had a chance to advance to the quarter-finals as one of the top two teams in third place, but was ultimately edged out by China and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team.
Canada will face Kenya in the ninth-place game on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Cudmore did not immediately respond to a request for an interview from The Canadian Press. He posted a statement on Twitter on Friday apologizing for his tweets.
I would like to apologize for the tweets posted last night. It was a touching event for a good friend and I let it get the better of me. I have always played / coached with my heart on my sleeve for this great country 🇨🇦 I’m sorry if I have offended anyone.