Gary Ella has criticised ex-teammate Nick Farr-Jones following the latter’s controversial comments about the Wallabies’ support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ahead of their Bledisloe showdown against the All Blacks, Wallaby utility back Dane Haylett-Petty said on Wednesday that the team is considering taking a knee during the national anthem in support of BLM.
But Farr-Jones, a former Wallabies captain and World Cup winner, strongly advised against it because he believes that Australia doesn’t have a ‘major issue’ with racism and the team would risk losing viewers if they kneeled, adding that all lives matter.
Farr-Jones’ comments has sparked a backlash and even raised the ire of fellow Wallabies great Ella, who said while taking a knee remained a personal choice, Farr-Jones was showing ignorance of Australia’s indigenous history by suggesting the country doesn’t have issues in relation to race discrimination.
‘Without saying they should drop a knee or shouldn’t – to me that’s up to individuals – it’s just that’s crazy,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘That’s just stupid talk and obviously shows that Nick doesn’t have a full appreciation of the history of Aboriginal people in this country.
‘If you’re talking about reconciliation, we’re talking about sharing and acknowledging the history that we’ve come past and are working towards a better future. Those type of comments are totally ignoring the history.’
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