Did Joe Biden confuse the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team with the Black and Tans?

We found the following video on TikTok:

The video, allegedly from a three-day visit to Ireland in April 2023 shows the US President speaking at the Windsor bar in Dundalk, Ireland. Noting his Irish roots, Biden spoke at length about his Irish ancestry and how being in Ireland felt like being at home.

As a closing comment, Biden showed the audience a tie with a shamrock on it, thanking Rob Kearney, a distant cousin who played in an Irish rugby team that beat New Zealand, for it. “This was given to me by one of these guys, right here. He was a hell of a rugby player. He beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”

The New Zealand national rugby team are commonly known as the “All Blacks” due to their choice of kit colours. On the other hand, the “Black and Tans”, also named due to their outfit colours was the nickname for a British paramilitary force formed in 1920 to suppress and target the Irish Republican Army (IRA), an organisation aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

When we conducted a search on the supposed gaffe during the speech, we found the official transcript from the White House. In it, “Black and Tans” is crossed out from the script and replaced by “All Blacks”, acknowledging the gaffe. News of his mistake had also been covered by several news sites including The Guardian and CNN.

Unfortunately for Biden then, the claim that he confused the All Blacks with the Black and Tans is true.

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