Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has hit out at sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, defending the decision of his players in not taking a knee in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM).
Ahead of Sale's clash against Harlequins last weekend, all eight of Sale's South African players, including World Cup winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager, opted against kneeling before kick-off in support of the movement.
Instead, they wore T-shirts with the words 'Rugby Against Racism' printed on them.
Naturally, the stance caused waves back home and during the week Mthethwa spoke up on his concern on the matter and confirmed that he was seeking answers from SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.
Sale were back in action on Friday night, this time against Exeter, and ahead of the match Diamond was asked to respond to the backlash the decision of his players had caused in South Africa.
"If the South African sports minister is anything like the UK sports minister, he should concentrate on his own job and do what's right there and not get involved in other areas," said Diamond.
"Sport across the world has shown its faith and commitment to Black Lives Matter, whether it's by wearing a T-shirt or whether it's taking a knee.
"Taking a knee is everybody's choice and I don't think the politicians should get involved, they normally make a mess when they do, so just leave to us and the lads and let them have their own opinion."
Sale lost the match 32-22.
- Sport24 staff
"I don't think politicians should get involved, they normally make a mess when they do."@SaleSharksRugby boss Steve Diamond gives his view on comments made by South Africa's minister for sport.#RugbyRestart pic.twitter.com/3riuwrpV52— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) August 21, 2020