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28th Mar 2023

Kellie Harrington: “I do not want to engage in politically sensitive matters”

Clodagh McKeon

She is “all about community, inclusion, and diversity”

Kellie Harrington issued a statement late last night after participating in an Off The Ball interview during the day.

During the interview with Shane Hannon, the Olympic gold medallist refused to answer questions over a controversial anti-immigration tweet she shared last October.

In the statement that she posted to Twitter last night, she said: “Last October, I reposted a tweet of a video from a journalist (whom I did not know at the time) detailing the story of a young girl in France who was kidnapped and murdered.

“Moved by the horrific circumstances of this story, I reposted a video of this journalist together with a copy of a quote.

“My thoughts at that moment were of that young girl and not any political opinion.

“Having realised the significance of my tweet and the hurt caused to a number of people I immediately deleted the tweet. I engaged privately with a number of people who were hurt by my tweet and I apologised to them.”

She said: “I did an interview today during which I was caught off guard. I was not prepared for a question unrelated to sport and my response to the question asked was not definitive.

“I do not want to engage in politically sensitive matters.

“What I want to make clear is, throughout my life both in boxing and outside boxing, I have been lucky enough to have had many multicultural influences and this continues to shape me to this day.

“This is something that shapes me as the person I am today and something I am very grateful for. The people closest to me will attest to this.

“Since the interview, I have seen some comments that I feel I should address and make my feelings and thoughts clear.

“As a sportswomen I am proud to say I am all about community, inclusion and diversity.”

Harrington’s tweet sparked backlash in 2022

It included a video of a Dutch commentator reporting on the death of a 12-year-old girl in France.

In the clip the reporter said: “I woke up this morning to see the news of another young European girl who was sacrificed on the altar of mass migration. We have four people in custody, all migrants coming from Algeria.

“This is the 12th girl I believe in France that has been killed this year by an immigrant and that’s just France.”

Kellie reposted the video and captioned it: “Very, very sad. A powerful message from Eva Vlaardingerbroek.

“Our own leaders need to take a listen to this. She believes this is the 12th girl in France this year who has been killed by an immigrant and that’s just France.”

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