Catalans Dragons coach Steve McNamara has backed Israel Folau’s decision against kneeling in support of racial equality as a ‘personal choice’.
Before the rugby league match between Folau’s Dragons and St Helens, officials and players from both sides, as well as the referee, knelt in a show of support for the social justice movement, Black Lives Matter. But the former Wallabies utility back opted to stand during the silent protest.
The 31-year-old Folau’s stance has copped widespread criticism, but McNamara, who has been in charge of the Catalans since 2017, described it as being the player’s personal choice.
‘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,’ McNamara explained.
‘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.’