SA rugby players union not taking a stance on public campaigns
South Africa’s rugby player’s representatives, MyPlayers, have stated that they will not be taking a collective stance on public campaigns such as the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM).
This comes after when South African players opted not to kneel in support of the BLM movement at the English Premiership Rugby match between Harlequin FC and Sale Sharks that took place on August 14th, 2020.
The eight players who did not kneel were Springbok World Cup winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager‚ Jean-Luc du Preez, Daniel du Preez‚ Robert du Preez, Akker van der Merwe‚ Coenie Oosthuizen, and club captain Jono Ross.
The stance drew a response from sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa who then requested an explanation from the South African rugby union as to why some players did not take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
In a statement released on Wednesday, MyPlayers stated that the players have their own rights and they should able to have the freedom in supporting any movement they want.
“In line with the Constitution, MyPlayers respects these rights to freedom that the members of the Players’ Organisation have in respect of particular causes that they wish to support. The members are responsible and entitled to develop their own beliefs and opinions on any cause and should be allowed to promote them in a manner they deem fit,” the statement read.
MyPlayers mentioned that they will not risk dividing players because of this matter.
“As a diverse and inclusive professional body that represents all South Africans and its communities when our members are on the rugby field playing for the Springboks and the various other national and provincial teams, MyPlayers has no intention and mandate to take a collective position on any cause that may lead to divisions amongst its members, rugby supporters and the public at large,” MyPlayers said.
MyPlayers also said that they do not want to be the ones responsible for dividing a country that is united in diversity.