Bernard O'Byrne steps down as...


Bernard O'Byrne steps down as Basketball Ireland CEO

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Bernard O'Byrne has stepped down from his position as CEO and Secretary General of Basketball Ireland. 

He does so with immediate effect.

It follows what Basketball Ireland have described as an "unacceptable" social media post by O'Byrne.

He referred to England footballer Raheem Sterling and the Black Lives Matter Movement on Facebook on July 8. O'Byrne subsequently apologised for the remark.

Basketball Ireland say the decision for O'Byrne to step down was a joint one, taken "to help the organisation move forward".

In parting, O'Byrne said, "While I am hugely disappointed that this is how my decade with Basketball Ireland has ended, I understand that stepping down is in the best interests of the sport.

"I am deeply apologetic over the hurt caused by my remark and I am fully cognisant of the struggles with discrimination that many people are having to deal with in day-to-day life.

"My comment was an off-the-cuff, extremely ill-judged attempt at humour based on wordplay only, that was never intended to be racially insensitive or make light of  organisations which have done so much to help raise awareness of inclusion and discrimination.”

Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt, added, “I am very disappointed that Bernard is retiring under these circumstances.

"We know that the basketball community and beyond has felt particularly let down over the last few days and we will continue to listen to and address any concerns that are raised.

"Basketball Ireland takes a zero tolerance stance on any form of discrimination, and diversity and inclusion are key pillars in our sport.

“Bernard’s comment on social media was unacceptable. It has subsequently cast him in an unfavourable light, which is very unfortunate as over the last decade he has been a driving force within the basketball community in Ireland in addressing bullying and negative attitudes regarding gender, sexuality and race.

"His brief lapse in judgement does not reflect the person I know, nor Basketball Ireland as an organisation.”

O'Byrne joined the association in 2011, and has been praised for overseeing a period of increased participation and clearing the organisation’s legacy debt of €1.2million.

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