Rugby players can support racism fight in ‘way they see fit’

Scottish rugby internationals were criticised for not taking the knee ahead of Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

Rugby players can support racism fight in ‘way they see fit’ SNS Group

Scottish Rugby has said players are “free to demonstrate their support” against racism in the “way they see fit” after many were criticised for not taking the knee before their Six Nations win over England.

The sport’s governing body issued a statement after criticism was aimed at the side because only four players made the gesture at Twickenham.

The symbolic action of taking the knee before the start of a sporting encounter has been adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement and has become a show of solidarity and support for the fight against racism.

Scottish Rugby said in a statement: “Scottish Rugby fully supports rugby’s on-going work to end discrimination and racism in our sport.

“This commitment has been expressed with a moment of reflection before every international match since the summer of 2020 and our players are free to demonstrate their support for this important issue in the way they see fit.”  

Scotland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the oldest rivalry in rugby by stunning England 11-6 on Saturday to claim the Calcutta Cup and their first victory at Twickenham since 1983.

The 38-year wait for success at the home of the reigning Guinness Six Nations champions finally came to an end as Finn Russell inspired the underdogs to victory.

Scotland boss Gregor Townsend said it had been left “100%” to individual members of the team to decide if taking the knee was something they wanted to do.

But he said: “We obviously stand against any racism and discrimination in our sport.”

No players took the knee in the other two Six Nations fixtures played this weekend – Italy v France and Wales v Ireland.