Benetton have suspended a member after rugby player Cherif Traore, 28, received a rotten banana for secret Santa.
Italian rugby team Benetton has suspended one of its members after a black player received a rotten banana as a secret Santa gift.A joint statement by Benetton and Italian Rugby Federation (FIR), read: "Benetton Rugby has simultaneously decided to suspend one of its members as a precaution, for the entire duration of the investigations by the public prosecutor's office."Cherif Traore, 28, who plays for the Italian rugby team, revealed on social media that most of his teammates laughed when he was given the present.He also mentioned previous times when he's had to put on a brave face while hearing racist jokes after a bad game.United Rugby Championship, said in a statement: "Benetton Rugby has been asked to provide a full report on what has occurred and what meaningful action will be taken as a result.
"Racism and discrimination of any kind are abhorrent, completely unacceptable in society and are utterly counter to the values of the sport of rugby and the United Rugby Championship."
Benetton Rugby previously said that they had "always condemned with the utmost firmness any expression of racism and/or form of discrimination".
Furthermore, all the players apologised to Cherif after theywere summoned to the URC club's training ground on Wednesday.
Cherif said: "The meeting was an opportunity to discuss and understand how what one of my team-mates did when exchanging Christmas presents is purely the result of idiocy and nothing other.
"I appreciate and accept his apology and that of the entire team. I'm happy with the gesture and I'm sure what happened will make the group even more solid.
"We are a family and as such we will continue to commit ourselves on and off the pitch, fighting, as we always have, against all forms of discrimination."