Another university rugby club

And then they discovered that it was a pattern. What a surprise.

The men’s rugby club at the London School of Economics, disbanded this week over a homophobic and misogynistic leaflet distributed to prospective members, had previously been involved in actions including “blacking up” and playing Nazi-themed drinking games, according to the university’s students’ union.

The revelations came as it emerged that another university rugby club, at London Business School (LBS), was dissolved for 12 months last year following complaints about racism and lewd sexism in a leaflet produced to mark a tour of France.

Oh gosh, it’s just lad culture, it’s just banter, what’s everyone getting so worked up about? [insert here reference to women’s underpants getting bunched or twisted or in a knot or otherwise misaligned]

In an email to members to further explain Tuesday’s decision to disband the men’s club for an academic year, the LSE students’ union president, Nona Buckley-Irvine, said an investigation had uncovered “a negative culture within the club that has existed for years”.

I think by “negative” she means “bad” or “harmful” or the like.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Wow wow wow. This is unbelievable. Email from LSE: list of what else the men’s rugby club got up to over the years

It’s a war on bloke culture, I tells ya.

The men’s rugby club at LBS, also part of the University of London, was disbanded last year after it distributed a 50-page tour booklet filled with explicit images of a sexual nature and references to positions such as “torturing Muslims”, “aiding terrorists” and “sweating like a rapist”.

An LBS spokesperson said: “The investigation did uncover a wider cultural issue within the men’s rugby club which was completely out of line with our values. The club opted to take collective responsibility and a decision was taken to disband the men’s rugby club for an academic year.”

War on blokes!


  1. sonofrojblake says

    I have always found the behaviour of university rugby union clubs baffling. At my own university it was notable that a significant proportion of the rugby league team were people who had never played the game before, but on arrival at university decided they wanted to join a club that focussed on, y’know, playing rugby, rather than getting incredibly drunk and taking off their clothes.
    (Note: there are two “codes” of rugby – rugby union (the more popular and widespread) was historically an amateur game, stereotypically played by the posh, with teams of fifteen. League has teams of thirteen, was always a professional game, and is (in the UK at least) largely restricted to towns located along the M62 (i.e. between Liverpool and Hull). )

    There was not, to my knowledge, ever any issue with the university rugby league team’s behaviour. The union team were banned from a hotel in Edinburgh (and were, IIRC, threatened with disbandment) after an incident in which players frolicked naked in the lobby and defecated in ashtrays. This was 25 years ago.

    What I believe it boils down to is this: rugby union is a tribal identifier for the entitled. It goes well beyond the kind of entitlement you might get in US sports because it additionally contains a healthy dose of our wonderful class system.

  2. electrojosh says

    Coming from a country where rugby is close to a religion (New Zealand) we have negative stereotypes* about most of the nations we play against. I won’t list them here because they can be jingoistic and unkind but it is worth noting that English rugby is seen as a bunch of boorish, elitist, boofheads (and we aren’t the only rugby nation to see them this way). So good job there conforming to a stereotype I guess?

    Seriously though the RFU needs to come down hard on this nonsense as it is completely against World Rugby’s over-all goals of promoting Rugby as a sport that anyone (who doesn’t mind get tackled) can play.

    *Not saying this is a good thing.

  3. says

    Welsh rugby fan here who feels the need to point out that wearing a suit and a good pair of shoes (as demanded in LSE’s rules) would have been beyond most of the guys finances in my Uni’s rugby club.

    Living in London I’ve gotten to know plenty of working class English rugby fans who are equally embarrassed by the way the game attracts a certain kind of privileged yobbo in the S.E of England.

    Prince Harrys presence at yesterdays England v France game seems to sum it up.

  4. electrojosh says

    #3 – Wales is similar to NZ I think; where rugby is a sport most kids have access to playing? At least that is my impression. In New Zealand we realize that rugby is not a major sport in most other countries (even the ones that play it well) so we tend to like those teams because they are seen as real enthusiasts for the game (obviously we want to trounce them though).

    With England it is a different story. We see them as the “bad guys” we always cheer against. This might be purely based on perception and no longer reflect the reality but it appears that England has a very elitist approach to the game and participation in it.

    Obviously NZ is not “pure of heart” or anything either – but the behaviour described above seems so cartoonishly wrong-headed and fits our stereotype of English rugby perfectly.

  5. says

    Josh “Wales is similar to NZ I think; where rugby is a sport most kids have access to playing?”

    It certainly was when I was a kid over 30 years ago, even in Cardiff which is considered a bit “English” by the real Welsh of the coal mining valleys. I worry that the over whelming money and glamour of football is changing things but I think the old adage of there being a position in Rugby for every body type still holds and yes most schools and districts have a rugby club and team.

    I think we see ourselves as the All Blacks of the Northern hemisphere in passion and style of play (and ability to let the team do the talking , leaving the fans to enjoy the social aspect) and its a shame an Irish referee with a suspiciously French name ruined what should have been a dream world cup final. Yes we are still bitter and congratulations BTW, maybe later this year?

    I have quite a few working class English Rugby fans as friends and they are equally embarrassed by the stereotype, but unfortunately for them any trip to Twickenham re-enforces it.

    You might enjoy the following ad for this years six nations that the BBC wouldn’t broadcast in case it hurt some precious flowers feeling’s

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