Rapha has said Chloe Dygert’s apology was “insufficient” after the time trial star liked a series of controversial posts on social media.
Dygert, former time trial world champion, issued a public statement stating she is committed to diversity and equality after liking a number of posts on Twitter, including a transphobic tweet from US President Donald Trump.
The 23-year-old, who has signed for Canyon-SRAM for next season, apologised to those who “felt offended” by her social media conduct and added that she intends to keep learning and growing.
On Friday (November 27) Rapha, Canyon-SRAM’s clothing sponsor, released its own statement sent to customers via email, saying the clothing brand had investigated the incident and had spoken to Dygert, concluding she had made “very serious errors of judgement.”
Rapha, which earlier this year committed to fighting discrimination in cycling, said it “wholeheartedly condemns” Dygert’s actions.
The statement said: “Since we became aware of this incident, we have taken time to fully investigate what happened, consulting with the rider, Canyon-SRAM Racing, and with other parents in order to take informed action in response.
“Having undergone that process, we believe that Chloe has made very serious errors of judgement, 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 Chloe has the capacity and the will to listen learn and change.”
Rapha said it will continue to support the team and said Caynon-SRAM has already taken clear steps to work with Chloe, also bringing in an external diversity and inclusion consultant to build a training programme that focuses on dialogue and education.
Exact details of the programme will be published by the team in the coming weeks.
Rapha added: “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.
“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.”
Dygert came under scrutiny for apparently liking certain tweets, since ‘un-liked’ by the American, which include statements such as “white privilege doesn’t exist” as well as a transphobic tweet from Donald Trump.
Another tweet reportedly liked by Dygert suggested that American Football player Colin Kaepernick “realised that if he grew an afro and played the part of victim, he could scam the black community out of millions”.
The Donald Trump tweet about female-only homeless shelters refusing transgender people read: “Men who self-identify as women, are not actually women, just as children who self-identify as mermaids, are not actually fish.”
Canyon-SRAM later issued their own statement, saying the team is committed to making sure their riders align with the team’s values.
In response to the controversy, Dygert said: “Cycling should be for everyone regardless of colour, gender, sexuality or background. Like Canyon SRAM Racing, I am committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and equality in cycling and our wider communities.
“I apologise to those who felt offended or hurt by my conduct on social media. I am committed to keep learning and growing as an athlete and a person.”
Full Rapha statement on Chloe Dygert controversy
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.
If you have questions or would like to respond to this statement, please contact us using the link below.