Scotland forward Jamie Ritchie insists he showed full support to anti-racism messages at Twickenham after being criticised for not taking a knee. The Edinburgh player has expressed surprise about the furore over his choice ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations win over England.
“It’s all been a bit of a surprise to be honest. We weren’t told before the game ‘we would like you to kneel’ or ‘we wouldn’t like you to kneel’. It was down to personal choice.” Ritchie said. “I don’t think anyone who didn’t kneel was disagreeing with anything that was put forward. It’s 100 per cent right that rugby is acknowledging the anti-racism movement. I completely agree with that.”
“I think guys standing in quiet reflection of that is in full support of it.” he added. “Whether boys kneeled or didn’t kneel was nothing we discussed before the game, it was completely down to personal preference. Anyone who kneeled I would back 100 per cent and anyone who stood I would do the same.”
“For me personally it was the first game I had been involved in when anyone took the knee. I was not surprised, I knew guys in the Premiership had been doing it, but it was down to personal preference at the time. I took that time to reflect and think about the message.” he continued. “You can’t please everyone, it’s such a polarising argument, whether to kneel or not. Social media can be a pretty vile place at times and guys know how to deal with it. It’s not stung, it has certainly not taken away from how special that day was for everyone involved. It’s just one of the things that comes with being in the limelight and playing pro sport.”