Toronto Wolfpack owner fires himself following racism allegation
Toronto Wolfpack majority owner David Argyle has fired himself as chairman and CEO after admitting he made an "incredibly careless" comment towards Swinton Lions player Jose Kenga.
Kenga, who was born in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, claimed Argyle had said "do they allow black people in Swinton?" after Toronto's 52-10 win at Lamport Stadium on April 28.
In a post on Twitter on Thursday, the prop said he had "never felt so little in my life”, while adding: “There is no room for intolerance, ignorance or racism”.
Argyle revealed he has since apologised to the player via a video call, and confirmed he is standing down from his roles with the Wolfpack.
An open letter from Argyle, published on the club's website, read: "I was incredibly careless with my words when speaking to Swinton Lions player Jose Kenga after our game at Lamport Stadium on 28th April 2019. I understand the unwitting racist connotations of what I said and the distress caused to Jose.
"Jose was gracious to take a video call with me today, I apologised and we discussed the matter in depth. I also fully support Jose's decision to go on social media. I called Swinton RFLC, which I respect and admire as a club.
"If any other member of our Wolfpack family had made that comment I made, on balance, regardless [of] context and environment, I would have fired them. Therefore that also applies to me, so I am firing myself as chairman and CEO.
"We have begun a process to find the correct person[s] to achieve the founding objectives of the club in the role of Chairman and CEO."
David Argyle - Open Letter— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) June 8, 2019
7th June 2019 pic.twitter.com/rDgaWUbLiK
The Rugby Football League opened an investigation into the incident, adding that they have a "zero tolerance approach" to racist behaviour of any type.
Argyle confirmed his "financial obligations and commitments" to the ambitious Championship club will continue to be met as they pursue promotion to Super League.
"I can't tell you how much we value our relationships with rugby players, our fans, sponsors and partners, and how much your support drives us to be better each and every day," he added.
"The Wolfpack will do everything in our power to repair that special bond and make things right."
After missing out on promotion to the top tier last year, Toronto sit six points clear at the top of the Championship table ahead of Sunday's game away at Swinton.