VIDEO: Sale's boss hits out at SA's sports minister
REACTION: Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has urged South Africa’s Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa to focus on ‘his own job’.
Mthethwa has received loads of backlash after it was revealed that he had approached SA Rugby for ‘clarity’ over the failure of a host of players who failed to ‘take a knee’ in support of the #BLM movement before Premiership matches in England last weekend.
Players worn T-shirts supporting the fight against racism under the campaign ‘Rugby Against Racism’.
However, 11 Sale Sharks players chose to remain standing – with eight being South Africans, namely Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Jean-Luc du Preez, Lodewyk de Jager, captain Jono Ross, Dan du Preez, Faf de Klerk and Rob du Preez.
The eight were joined by England centre Manu Tuilagi, Welsh prop WillGriff John and Scotland wing Byron McGuignon.
Sale Sharks were back in action on Friday against log-leader Exter Chiefs.
And this time England’s Tuilagi took a knee, while all eight South Africans in the starting line-up and Welshman WillGriff John and Scotland’s Byron McGuigan opted to stand.
Speaking after the 22-32 defeat, Diamond defended his players’ decision and advise the Minister to focus on his own job.
“If the South African sports minister is anything like the UK sports minister, he should concentrate on his own job and do what’s right there and not get involved in other areas.
“Sports across the world has shown its faith and commitment to Blacks Live Matter, whether it’s by wearing a T-shirt of whether it’s taking a knee
He added: “Taking a knee is everybody’s choice and I don’t think the politicians should get involved, they normally make a mess when they do, so just leave it to us and the lads and let them have their own opinion,”
“I don’t think politicians should get involved, they normally make a mess when they do.”@SaleSharksRugby boss Steve Diamond gives his view on comments made by South Africa’s minister for sport.#RugbyRestart pic.twitter.com/3riuwrpV52
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) August 21, 2020