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Israel Folau Was The Only Super League Player Not To Take A Knee For BLM

Israel Folau Was The Only Super League Player Not To Take A Knee For BLM

Israel Folau's name has hit the headlines once again. And just like last time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

The disgraced former Wallabies star refused to join his Catalans teammates in taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to his side's Super League opener against St Helens.

The former NRL, AFL and Super Rugby star was the only player in the Super League not to do so.

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The Black Lives Matter movement has gained global attention following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota back in May and some of the biggest sports stars on the planet have thrown their support behind protests.

Similarly to the NBA, Premier League, Formula1 and all other sports across the globe, the return of the English Super League saw players from every team take a knee in protest against racial injustices - although Folau had other ideas.

Images that surfaced on social media clearly show the 31-year-old standing while his teammates and opposition players took a knee - and fans were quick to slam him for it.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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But although supporters weren't too happy (nor were they surprised given his history), Folau's Catalans coach defended his move, claiming it was a "personal choice" and not one that reflected the team's views.

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"As a group of players and coaching staff, we spoke about it in depth and as a club we are completely against racism and all for equal opportunity," Steve McNamara said.

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"But there were some players and staff who made the decision not to take the knee.

"That was based on personal choice, they have their own reasons for doing that, and we decided we would respect anyone's personal choice on the matter."

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Israel Folau is tackled by St Helens players. Credit: PA
Israel Folau is tackled by St Helens players. Credit: PA

It's not the first time Folau has upset supporters with his views.

The ex-Wallaby was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 for a serious of homophobic comments made via social media and church sermons.

After countless warnings, Folau was eventually given the boot by former RA CEO Raelene Castle.

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Controversially snapped up by Catalans Dragons not long after, it appears Folau is still standing by his unpopular beliefs - even if they continue to thrust him into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Black Lives Matter, Racism, blm, Rugby Union, Rugby League, nrl, Australia, Super League

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Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.