Basketball Ireland chief exec apologises for post about Raheem Sterling penalty

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The chief executive of Basketball Ireland has apologised for a social media post about England footballer Raheem Sterling, which has led for calls for him to resign.

Bernard O’Byrne replied to a BBC Facebook post about the penalty won by Sterling in England’s Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark, writing: “BLACK DIVES MATTER”.

Basketball Ireland said in a statement that O’Byrne had deleted the post, which came from his personal account.

O’Byrne added: “My choice of words commenting on a penalty incident were not thought out. It was an error of judgement and I wholeheartedly apologise for the comments.”

The governing body stressed its “ongoing commitment to inclusion and basketball’s diverse community”, something it said O’Byrne had led in recent years.

Many of those replying to Basketball Ireland’s post felt an apology was insufficient and called on the board to ask for his resignation.

One respondent described the post as “disgusting” and added: “There has to be consequences for someone in his position commenting so publicly.”

Basketball Ireland said later on Friday it was “following internal processes and conducting a full investigation”.

Chairman Paul McDevitt said in a statement: “The board of Basketball Ireland held an emergency meeting today. We are fully aware of the gravity of the situation. We cannot comment on our ongoing internal investigation and would urge patience while this is completed.”