Eight members of the South African Rugby have refused to bend the knee in support of the Black lives matter campaign against racism.
A total of eleven players from the sharks refused to bend the knee, 8 of them being Springboks. The move did not sit well with fans in England and abroad. The players donned the BLM tshirts but refused to bend the knee.
Savanna News learned that the incident took place shortly before an English Premiership game between the Harlequins and the Sale Sharks. 11 players from the Manchester based club Sharks caused stir when they refused to bend the knee during the moment of silence.
Faf de Klerk, Lood de Jager, twins Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez, their older brother Robert, Akker van der Merwe, Coenie Oosthuizen and club captain Jono Ross took the decision to remain standing
Some South Africans back home including Willem Petzer and well known rugby journalist Simon Borchardt have supported the move by the Springboks.
“My personal view: By wearing ‘Rugby Against Racism’ T-shirts, these SA players are clearly supporting the anti-racism campaign. If they don’t want to kneel (for whatever reason, including religious, I presume), that’s their decision. Each to their own,” Borchardt Tweeted after the incident.
Petzer went on to call the eight, including Francois Venter who was the only player standing during a Worcester Warriors clash as “brave”.
“At Worcester [Warriors], the only South African on team, @Swys_Venter, also refused to kneel. This takes even more guts! At the Sale Sharks, it was easy for 8 South Africans to stand together against #BlackLivesMatter, but Francois was alone and he still stood strong,” said Petzer, a right-wing blogger who was found to have spread racist memes on the internet a few years ago.
Other fans have condemned the move and they say they have taken note of the names of those who refused to support BLM movement.