Danny Cipriani has organised a tribute to the late Caroline Flack at his rugby match on Friday (28.02.20).
The 32-year-old rugby player was left devastated when his ex-girlfriend tragically took her own life earlier this month, and in the former ‘Love Island’ presenter’s honour, he and his Gloucester Rugby team mates will be wearing black armbands with the words ‘Be Kind’ emblazoned across them when they taken on the Sale Sharks at home at Kingsholm Stadium.
The words were chosen in support of the #BeKind campaign, which encourages people to think twice before posting potentially harmful content online.
The sports star said of the late ‘Love Island’ presenter – who was just 40 when she passed away – in a statement: "Caroline was one of the most caring, genuine people I ever met. She endured unimaginable criticism during her years in the public eye but through it all, she just wanted people to show a little kindness to each other. And that’s a message that should be her legacy – be kind.
"We all have spells of self-doubt, anxiety and low points. Nobody needs other people to point out their flaws and make them feel worse about themselves. A little kindness goes a long way."
The Gloucester Rugby Foundation has also teamed up with Samaritans to raise awareness of mental health, and £5 of every ticket for the match will be donated to the Gloucester & District Samaritans charity.
The fly-half’s tribute comes after he announced he will be taking an extended break from social media to grieve for Caroline.
Danny – who opened up about battling depression himself since he was 22 this month – shared his last WhatsApp contact with Caroline – who affectionately nicknamed him ‘black dot’ because of his profile picture on the messaging service – in which she told him she was "just OK" because of her impending court case for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
He captioned the post: "Black dot. Before i start. This is my grieving process. Which is talking. A lot. Which my friends and family and teammates have had to take this last 10 days because I’m grieving. And I’m grieving hard. Hence I’m talking a lot. I’m not sure I’d be strong enough if I didn’t understand or see myself in her.
"Pain is pain. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost a cat. Or been called a name. No ones pain is worse or less. Because it is individual to them and how they take it. (sic)"
He went on to explain his plan to step back from social media during the 40-day period of Lent, and admitted he hoped Caroline would have been proud of him.
He added: "She was kind beyond belief. And she would think i am crazy doing all this. But i know she would be proud.
"I’m taking lent off social media. Thank you all for the kind messages. And all the lovely response. Thank you for the bad response. It’s my story. And i did it for me. Then her – she wasn’t allowed to talk to her BF throughout the case because of the law. He wanted the charges dropped. They wanted to pursue.
"I am not pointing fingers. The CPS and police do a good job. Just saying we can’t always do a good job. This is my grieving process. Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness."
Gloucester Rugby v Sale Sharks kicks off at 7.45pm live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. The programme starts at 7pm.