Image via Twitter: Nola
Image via Twitter: Nola
Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa has requested for an investigation into the reasons behind eight South African rugby players failing to kneel during a BlackLivesMatter (BLM) solidarity campaign in the English Premiership.
Robert du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Faf de Klerk, Lood de Jager‚ Daniel du Preez‚ Akker van der Merwe‚ Coenie Oosthuizen and Jono Ross all failed to kneel during a pre-match BlackLivesMatter protest ahead of an English Premiership match between Harlequins and Sale Sharks.
The eight South Africans were seen wearing the ‘Rugby Against Racism’ t-shirts before kickoff however their failure to kneel in solidarity with the movement has stirred a massive uproar and Nathi Mthethwa has since opened up regarding the matter.
“We do not want to jump the gun on the specific matter of the South African players in England who didn’t kneel in support of the BLM movement but we did say we want to understand what’s happening‚ and what is the position of SA Rugby in this whole thing‚” said minister Nathi Mthethwa.
“The first thing we noted is that they were wearing the t-shirts which support the BLM movement but they did not kneel. Upon seeing this‚ I interacted with SA Rugby through its president and I asked him to explain what’s happening so that we are on the same wavelength.
“You must remember we were together at the World Cup in Japan as a country with some of the players and one thing which cannot be tolerated is when somebody is displaying racist behaviour and showing racist attitude.”
Minster Nathi Mthethwa took a clear stance on the unacceptable nature of racism within South African sport and has urged SARU to take action should any form of racism be at play.
“I must underscore the point that there have been statements in the past coming from that quarter which seems to be identifying themselves with the BLM movement. The BLM movement is important because the rot and the pain has been faced by black players here in SA.” Nathi Mthethwa added.
“Racism is no longer in the statutes books but some are practicing it covertly and we are saying that we will hunt them down because we know the pain that is caused by this cancer called racism.
“We are ready to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that people toe the line and those who are racist are taught to embrace other people and if that doesn’t happened, government is going to come in handy in ensuring that people observe what’s the constitution of the country.”