Rugby’s head of recruitment will take on diversity: “It’s time to fight racism,” he says.
THE FIRST BLACK DIRECTOR OF A MAJOR SPORT IN ENGLAND is committed to increasing rugby’s diversity.
After standing up against racism, Tom Ilube says he’s not afraid of a fight. The businessman is the Rugby Football Union’s newest chairman.
He came out on top of the Powerlist of the 100 most powerful persons of African and African Caribbean descent in the United Kingdom, beating out celebrities like comedian Sir Lenny Henry.
Mr Ilube, 58, says his family escaped Uganda during Idi Amin’s regime on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs this morning.
He subsequently followed his father’s philosophy of “never ever backing down” and confronting bigots at school in Teddington, southwest London.
Mr. Ilube goes on to say: “It could be difficult being a tiny black boy in early 1970s London. I’d be OK on my own.” His mother “scraped the make-up off” after a teacher forced him to wear blackface in a play.
When a coworker drew a monkey with the words “Tom Ilube” next to it, a bank CEO stood up for him.
“A leader who can be that kind of ally… that’s what really, truly helps,” he adds.