Rapha 'wholeheartedly condemns' Chloe Dygert's social media conduct

Cyclingnews
·6 min read
 Road World Championships Imola 2020  Women Elite Time Trial  Imola  Imola 317 km  24092020  Chloe Dygert United States Of America  photo Ilario BiondiBettiniPhoto2020
Road World Championships Imola 2020 Women Elite Time Trial Imola Imola 317 km 24092020 Chloe Dygert United States Of America photo Ilario BiondiBettiniPhoto2020

Rapha released a statement to its customers Friday announcing that it 'wholeheartedly condemns' Chloé Dygert's recent social media misconduct and called her subsequent public apology "insufficient".

Dygert, who signed a four-year contract with Rapha-sponsored Canyon-SRAM, publicly apologised for her misconduct on social media and voiced her commitment to diversity and equality. The apology was made in early November on Instagram.

Neither rider nor team made specific reference to the social media activity that was deemed inappropriate, however, the incident appears to have stemmed from posts on Twitter that Dygert 'liked', including a transphobic tweet from US President Donald Trump.

"We are writing to you today to clarify our position on the actions of new Canyon//SRAM Racing rider Chloé Dygert who, back in June, endorsed racist and transphobic views on social media. Rapha wholeheartedly condemns these actions as they were offensive, divisive and have no place in cycling or society," Rapha stated.

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Dygert 'liked' a Tweet that referenced former US president Donald Trump’s proposal to allow single-sex homeless shelters to refuse transgender people and stated: "Men who self-identify as women, are not actually women, just as children who self-identify as mermaids, are not actually fish."

In addition, screenshots posted by one Twitter user appear to show Dygert 'liked' a post stating "white privilege doesn’t exist", and another that suggested Colin Kaepernick, the American Football player who took the knee during the US national anthem to protest racial inequality and later settled in a collusion case against the NFL, "realized that if he grew an afro and played the part of victim, he could scam the black community out of millions."

Dygert issued an apology on Instagram for her misconduct on social media, stating that "Cycling should be for everyone regardless of color, gender, sexuality or background" and that she was "committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and equality in cycling and our wider communities."

Dygert's apology was quickly followed by a statement from Canyon-SRAM expressing that they were committed to regular training and support for all their riders, including Dygert, to ensure they fully aware of and align with the team’s values.

In its statement, however, Rapha said Dygert's apology was insufficient and that it only compounded her serious errors of judgment. The company also said it has spoken to Dygert about her misconduct and believe that she has the capacity to learn and change.

"Since we became aware of this incident, we have taken time to fully investigate what happened, consulting with the rider, Canyon//SRAM Racing and other partners in order to take informed action in response," Rapha stated.

"Having undergone that process, we believe that Chloé has made very serious errors of judgment, which were compounded by an apology she issued that was not sufficient.

"However, we also believe that trusting the ability of people to change is key to reaching any form of meaningful reconciliation. Having spoken to her at length, we believe that Chloé has the capacity and the will to listen, learn and to change."

Rapha highlighted an action plan that includes Canyon-SRAM working directly with Dygert, while also engaging with an external Diversity & Inclusion consultant in order to develop a comprehensive programme of diversity and inclusion training that focuses on dialogue and education.

"This is something that we believe will have a considerable impact within the team and beyond. Exact details of the program will be published by the team in the coming weeks," Rapha stated.

Rapha confirmed that it will continue to support Canyon-SRAM because of the conversations that have taken place, and the willingness that Dygert has demonstrated, along with the meaningful actions that they are putting in place.

"Acknowledging that they, like us, must do more to promote diversity, inclusion and equality, Canyon//SRAM Racing has been instrumental in promoting women’s cycling over the last five years, and the continuation of this work should not be jeopardised by the actions of one person. This incident has been an opportunity for all of us to learn and understand how much more we can all do," Rapha stated.

Rapha statement

As you know, earlier this year we committed to fighting discrimination within cycling as part of our wider effort to promote diversity, inclusion and greater equality in the sport we love. It’s absolutely imperative that as we develop our relationship with this subject, we do so with integrity. So we are writing to you today to clarify our position on the actions of new Canyon//SRAM Racing rider Chloé Dygert who, back in June, endorsed racist and transphobic views on social media. Rapha wholeheartedly condemns these actions as they were offensive, divisive and have no place in cycling or society.

Since we became aware of this incident, we have taken time to fully investigate what happened, consulting with the rider, Canyon//SRAM Racing and other partners in order to take informed action in response. Having undergone that process, we believe that Chloé has made very serious errors of judgment, which were compounded by an apology she issued that was not sufficient. However, we also believe that trusting the ability of people to change is key to reaching any form of meaningful reconciliation. Having spoken to her at length, we believe that Chloé has the capacity and the will to listen, learn and to change.

All of us, the team and each of its partners, have acknowledged that we need to take action following this incident to ensure that this never happens again. Canyon//SRAM Racing have already taken clear steps to work with Chloé and is engaging with an external Diversity & Inclusion consultant in order to develop a comprehensive programme of diversity and inclusion training that focuses on dialogue and education. This is something that we believe will have a considerable impact within the team and beyond. Exact details of the program will be published by the team in the coming weeks.

As a result of our conversations, the willingness that Chloé has demonstrated, and the meaningful actions that Canyon//SRAM Racing is putting in place, Rapha will continue to support the team. Acknowledging that they, like us, must do more to promote diversity, inclusion and equality, Canyon//SRAM Racing has been instrumental in promoting women’s cycling over the last five years, and the continuation of this work should not be jeopardised by the actions of one person. This incident has been an opportunity for all of us to learn and understand how much more we can all do.

Finally, we would like to reiterate our stance on this issue once more. Discrimination has no place in cycling or society, and we are committed to fighting it in all of its forms by promoting diversity, inclusion and equality in the sport. There is no issue we take more seriously, and should there be any subsequent breach of these standards, the team will review the position outlined immediately. As part of this process, we will be reviewing our own working policies and practices to prevent similar incidents in the future. The last two weeks have served only to intensify our commitment to improve, starting with the actions outlined here.