Israel Folau remains standing as other players kneels on Super League’s return

Folau, who returned to the rugby league last year after being sacked by Rugby Australia for a homophobic social media post, chose not to take a knee alongside his teammates and St Helens players on Sunday .
Across a number of competitions, including the Premier League, Formula 1 and the NBA, athletes have knelt down to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to highlight racial injustice.

“As a group of players and coaches we have talked about it in depth and as a club we are completely against racism and all for equal opportunities,” McNamara told reporters.

“But some players and staff have made the decision not to take the knee.

“It was based on personal choice, they have their own reasons for doing it, and we decided that we would respect anyone’s personal choice in this matter.”

St Helens players take a knee ahead of Sunday's game.

CNN reached out to Catalans Dragons for comment from Folau but had not received a response at the time of posting.

In addition to taking a knee, athletes wear t-shirts with anti-racist slogans as the sport has picked up in recent months.

Last week, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac was the first NBA player not to show up for the national anthem.

He later explained that he didn’t think putting on a shirt and kneeling was “going hand in hand with supporting black life,” adding that the gospel can “bring us together.”

Folau, a devout Christian, is no stranger to controversy after being embroiled in a long dispute with Rugby Australia over an Instagram post stating that ‘hell awaits’ gay people, which ultimately led him to to change code and return to the rugby league.
READ: Isaac responds after being only NBA player to represent the national anthem
Folau joined Catalans Dragons earlier this year.
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He signed a one-year contract with the Catalans in January and has since made four Super League appearances, including Sunday’s 34-6 loss to St Helens.

The Super League returned on Sunday after a four-and-a-half-month hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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