Alarm over case of boxer Lewis Crocker

There will be considerable concern over the way in which the Ulster Boxing Council treated Lewis Crocker, who has received a settlement of £8,500 after bringing a highly unusual case under fair employment law.

Mr Crocker (21), who comes from the loyalist Sandy Row area of Belfast and was widely regarded as an emerging amateur star in his chosen sport before turning professional, argued that he was not picked for an important international squad because of his perceived religious belief or political opinion.

The young boxer, who had the firm support of his coach from the Holy Trinity club in nationalist west Belfast, said rivals who were chosen ahead of him, despite faring less well in high performance tests, were all from a Catholic background.

It will be noted that, although the council did not accept liability, officials said yesterday they were determined to avoid any repetition of Mr Crocker's complaint by ensuring that procedures were fully modernised, and it

is clearly essential that all such selections should be made purely on the grounds of ability.

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