England winger slams death threats to Sale stars who did not kneel

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Sale Sharks  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Sale Sharks (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England and Sale wing Marland Yarde has condemned death threats received by some of his team-mates after a row erupted over their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Register your interest for the British & Irish Lions tickets in South Africa 2021

Sale's South African players have been criticised by their country's sports minister Nathi Mthethwa for opting not to take a knee before the English Premiership matches against Harlequins and Exeter.

Only four of Sale's starting line-up took a knee at the Harlequins match on 14 August, with five players doing so ahead of the clash with Exeter a week later.

Springbok World Cup winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager were among those who did not.

England international Yarde, who was among a handful of Sale players to take a knee on both occasions, branded the threats "totally unacceptable".

"I stand 100 percent for the Black Lives Matter movement and whole heartedly believe in the importance of highlighting the continuous battle that we face in society everyday and the need for a change," the 28-year-old posted on Instagram and Twitter.

"I have to also stand against death threats against my teammates which is totally unacceptable. This behaviour will not make the world a better place. We are united we are a team."

Premiership Rugby has allowed clubs and players decide their own ways of supporting the campaign.

Sale players did appear in 'Rugby against Racism' T-shirts before both games and, speaking after the Harlequins match, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: "I think it'll be a storm in a tea cup.

"We all wore the rugby against racism T-shirts, which we thought was important, but I don't think it's too much to worry about if I'm honest."

England forward Billy Vunipola said he did not take the knee before Saracens' game with Bristol last week because of his Christian faith.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
England 10/0
West Indies 55/10
loading... Live
Cardiff Rugby 0
Dragons 0
loading... Live
Connacht 0
Ulster 0
loading... Live
England 10/0
West Indies 55/10
loading... Live
Southampton 2
Burnley 2
loading... Live
Leeds United 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
loading... Live
Everton 2
Watford 3
loading... Live
Crystal Palace 1
Newcastle United 1
loading... Live
Cape Town City 0
Lamontville Golden Arrows 0
Voting Booth
After the opening weekend of URC action, what did you make of the South African struggles?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It exposed the quality of South African rugby...
38% - 2097 votes
There were positives to take
7% - 367 votes
We shouldn't read too much into one weekend
16% - 919 votes
It will take the SA sides time to adjust to the new competition
39% - 2191 votes
Vote