While visiting Ireland last week, President Biden confused the name of a New Zealand rugby team with the infamous British forces that were enlisted to fight against Irish Republicans during Ireland’s war of independence in the early Twentieth Century, the New York Post reported.
While delivering remarks at the Windsor bar in Dundalk, County Louth on the border with Northern Ireland, Biden went off script a bit while boasting about his distant cousin, former Irish rugby player Rob Kearney, telling the attendees that Kearney “beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”
But there is no rugby team called the “Black and Tans.”
The Black and Tans were members of the brutal Royal Irish Constabulary who committed atrocities against Irish civilians during the Irish War of Independence between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British forces from 1919 to 1921. These forces were called the Black and Tans after the colors of their uniforms.
The New Zealand rugby team to which Biden was referring is called the “All Blacks.”
After the gaffe, White House official Amanda Sloat dismissed the president’s mistake, saying she was sure every rugby fan in Ireland knew that Biden was referring to Ireland’s 2021 defeat of the New Zealand All Blacks team, CNN reported.
According to CNN, Biden has boasted of being a rugby fan and previously claimed that he briefly played the game in the mid-1970s while he was a US Senator.
Irish comedian Oliver Callan mocked the president for the ill-timed gaffe on Twitter, saying what Ireland wanted most from Biden was one of his “signature” gaffes, and he gave them “one for the century.”