UNLIKE Jadon Sancho, the England footballer who revealed a 'Justice for George Floyd' T-shirt after scoring for Borussia Dortmund, Dragons star Ashton Hewitt is unable to make an on-field gesture at the moment.

The 25-year-old from Newport is currently training solo because of the coronavirus crisis, waiting for the green light to link up with his Rodney Parade teammates again.

But when the changing rooms open again at the Dragons' Ystrad Mynach base, Hewitt intends to show that Black Lives Matter through education.

Education that this is very much a British issue and not just an American one.

The winger, uncapped but who trained with Wales in the Six Nations, has already expressed his feelings passionately on social media after the death of Floyd and now, after 84 appearances over six seasons that have established him as a Dragons leader, he is confident enough to call out any prejudice that masquerades as banter.

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"Not being afraid [to speak out] is massive and that's something that I have learnt, and I've had to grow in confidence with throughout my career," admitted Hewitt.

"There have been a lot of instances and situations where I have been accepting of a culture of racial banter, prejudice and stereotypes.

"I used to let certain things slide but now I am definitely more of the mindset to pull people up on it, and I have been pulling people up on stuff and having conversations with people.

"There is a lot of banter in a rugby environment from people who don't understand the history behind some of the things that they joke about, how those things can impact people and make them feel uncomfortable.

"From my experiences there is a serious lack of education and knowledge around race, the issues and history that makes certain things offensive.

"It's something that needs to be addressed and stamped out. I am guilty of letting it pass and allowing it in a lot of different environments, rugby being only one of them."

That such situations have led to a young man using the words "I am guilty of", kicking themselves when they are anything but culpable, makes the heart sink.

But Hewitt has pledged to challenge prejudice through offering himself as resource for those that he plays alongside. He encourages everyone to just ask.

"You can't understand any racial issue today unless you understand the history and that's something that this country fails with," he said. "The shedding light on its history and involvement in the oppression of black people.

"With Max (Williams) coming through, Leon (Brown, Wales prop), Rio (Dyer), there is more of a diverse presence that does make it easier to talk about these things.

"For example, when I was playing for Newport and was 17 years old, I was the only black player there and I wouldn't have the confidence to call people out on stuff or simply offer myself to educate people.

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"Now I am in the mindset where education is everything and I am worried that the reason some people lack knowledge on this topic is because they are worried about offending or asking the wrong question.

"There is still a levels of personal responsibility for that education but I want to make it clear that the more people ask me, the more that I would feel a lot more positive and feel that change is being made.

"If someone wants to be educated and they are asking questions, that's a massive positive in addressing the race issue in this country."

Hewitt has used social media to highlight injustice – unfortunately also having to deal with trolls as a consequence – and his profile as a professional rugby player provides platforms such as this to try and help spark change.

The winger is mulling over whether to join next week's march in Newport to highlight the battles and biases that affect his daily life.

"There are a lot of people that think there is not an issue, and that shocks me. They think black people are kicking up a fuss over nothing and that society is fine," said Hewitt.

"It's a huge problem and my worry is that people think that because it's not direct and aggressive racism like 'you black so-and-so', that there is no racism.

"We have seen the consequences of police brutality and inequality in America but people fail to see what is happening every day in the UK.

"I have had conversations with a few of the boys and a lot of people from a different demographic to me and they are always shocked at my stories about how many times I have been stopped by the police.

"I had to experience racism in the valleys as a child and if it was somebody else, with a different personality, then they might have knocked rugby on the head because of that very issue.

"There is stuff that you [as a white man] wouldn't even think about. I have been stopped and searched walking my dog, I've been followed to my front door all the way from the motorway.

"Have you ever been stopped and searched in the middle of the afternoon while walking the dog? Most white people that I speak to haven't.

"Staying quiet just allows the situation to continue. People need to understand the struggles that black people go through daily."

Hewitt doesn't pretend that he will have all the answers but he wants questions.