The sexist abuse a female rugby referee recieved revealed - Ruck

The sexist abuse a female rugby referee recieved revealed

Details of sexist verbal abuse shouted at a female rugby referee have been revealed in a leaked report.

Coleraine RFC has been fined £5,000 by the Irish Rugby Football Union’s Ulster Branch over the incident.

The six-page document, seen by BBC News NI, was written by referee Grainne Crabtree about the match at Coleraine Rugby Club in March.

The report, which was submitted to the IRFU’s Ulster Branch, outlines the “sustained, vile, sexist abuse” to which Ms Crabtree says she was subjected during the game by four men.

“The game continued and I could hear men laughing at how funny they found themselves,” she said.


“I noticed that the crowd was splitting, which left four men standing on their own.

“As I approached, they jeered and told me I was a ‘fucking joke’.”

Her statement said the men told her to “take off your shorts so we get a better look at your arse”.

Ms Crabtree said the abuse made her feel “anxious and unsettled”.

The report states the “jeering and sexual comments” continued into the second half.



It said the men shouted comments such as: “Yo, you slag, you’re a fucking disgrace, you slag.”


In a statement on Thursday, Coleraine RFC said it had “apologised to the referee for the abuse she was subjected to by spectators at the club”.

“A plan is now in place at the club to ensure that Coleraine remains a safe place for spectators, players and officials and we look forward to welcoming visiting teams, their supporters and of course our match officials,” it continued.