In an effort to combat racism and mark the opening of the rugby return, players from two sides kneeled down for a few seconds.
They joined referee Ben Thaler in showing solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. However, rugby star, Israel Folau, refused to do so.
Folau was the only player who stood, while others kneeled down for a few seconds.
The 31-year-old controversial hero was fired from his Australian rugby contract just last year. He was called out for using the terms, “hell awaits all gay people.” And that is when Catalan’s choice for his team selection was highly opposed.
However, the Catalan’s Dragons famed coach, Steve McNamara, supported his player’s decision at Headingley.
McNamara said that the entire team stood in solidarity against racism. Similarly, he explained how the entire team of players as well as coaching staff spoke about the topic in depth. And that’s when they came to the conclusion that they were united for all equal opportunity.
With that being said, some of the players and staff members decided not to kneel down.
And that decision was a personal one. Likewise, he claimed how they had their own ‘personal reasons’ of doing so. McNamara also explained how he and others respect every team’s member’s decision and personal choices, regarding the matter.
31-year-old Folau couldn’t shine with his performance at the English Super League clash. And that’s when the Catalan’s lost the game with a 34-6 score. They handed over the game to the defending champions.
The rugby match was the opening game of a league series at Headingley. Moreover, it historically marked the continuation of the Super League.
Folau is a ‘fundamentalist Christian’ who shows little to no remorse on his bold statements and actions. And his recent termination from a whopping £2 million contract is proof of just that.