Disgraced rugby star Israel Folau refuses to take knee in Super League return

Israel Folau refused to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before Catalans Dragons’ Super League match against St Helens on Sunday.

The 31-year-old had his $5 million AUD (£2.7m) contract terminated by Rugby Australia last year after he posted on social media that all homosexuals would go to hell.

Folau has also attacked the transgender community, claiming that children who want to change gender ‘is what the devil is trying to do’.

As rugby league returned on Sunday, players from both Catalans Dragons and St Helens took a knee in support of BLM.

And Folau was the only one standing on the pitch as Catalans went on to lose 34-6 to the reigning champions.

However, Catalans coach Steve McNamara defended Folau’s decision not to kneel, and said he was entitled to make a 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 said.

‘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.’

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