The rugby team of Goldsmith’s University in London has unveiled its new kit that features a Palestinian flag to show their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The move has split support from students, when they should all be united for their team.
The team revealed their new kit on Facebook saying, “We’re excited to reveal our new kit which features the Palestinian flag on the as part of our SU’s continued commitment to supporting BDS. We’re hoping through our work with Goldsmiths Palestine Society this year we can encourage more societies and clubs to endorse and raise awareness about BDS.”
A Union of Jewish Students spokesperson told Jewish News: “Whereas the Goldsmiths Israel Society have recently been promoting ‘Bridges Not Boycotts’, the Goldsmiths RFC seem to only be interested in creating further divisions between students on campus. Sport is not an area where political acts should be welcomed and this inherently political act is likely to alienate many Jewish students. It is an unfair and unsporting tactic that is being used to push the students’ unions divisive political agenda.”
“It is concerning that Goldsmiths SU continues to promote and encourage such acts, and we will be working with the Israel and Jewish Societies to ensure that relevant action is taken to address this.”
A spokesperson for Goldsmiths, University of London said: “Goldsmiths Rugby Football Club is a sports club of Goldsmiths Students’ Union – which is independent to the university. This decision was taken by Goldsmiths RFC.”
“At this university we are rightly proud of our diverse, inclusive and respectful community.”
“This includes in the field of sport and it’s disappointing that the rugby club has taken this decision. Sport should be unifying and should be played without borders and by all. No one should feel alienated or excluded.
“We are working with everyone across campus to ensure that all groups feel safe and supported at Goldsmiths.”
Many would consider that the rugby team represents the university and therefore it has an invested interest in how the team conducts itself and how that reflects on the university. Their lack of action is disappointing.
A sports team should be something the whole student body can support and actions like this only act to divide rather than unite.