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Ulster Rugby chief defends club's participation in Belfast event

The chief executive of Ulster Rugby has defended the club's decision to participate in Belfast Pride after coming under fire from some supporters.

The organisation has said it will attend the LGBTQ+ celebrations at the weekend in a bid to promote inclusiveness and equality within the sport.

But it has been accused by some fans of taking a position on what they interpret as a political matter. One supporter responded to the announcement on Facebook by saying: "Pride very much in the political arena, let's keep politics out of all sport."

Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie later hit back and reinforced his commitment to attending the event. He said on Twitter: "I've been astounded to see some of the negativity surrounding our participation in this. Taking part was an easy decision - we are an inclusive club and this is an inclusive sport and that is something to be proud of. It's not a political stance. I'll see you there."

The move comes as the GAA confirmed it has no plans to take part, after supporting Dublin Pride last month in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

In relation to Belfast Pride, it said participation at other events around the country is at the discretion of local units.

This year's Pride parade is expected to attract the largest crowd yet after around 55,000 took to the streets last year.

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