The Scottish Rugby Union says it stands behind the fight against racism after only four players chose to take a knee ahead of Saturday’s win over England at Twickenham. Gregor Townsend’s team recorded their first away win over England since 1983 but have faced a backlash after the majority of the matchday squad opted not to join in with the gesture supporting the Rugby Against Racism campaign before kick-off in London.
“Scottish Rugby fully supports rugby’s ongoing work to end discrimination and racism in our sport,” SRU said in a statement. “This commitment has been expressed with a moment of reflection before every international match since the summer of 2020 and our players are free to demonstrate their support for this important issue in the way they see fit.”
“No. We had been told there were a few things before the game, rightly commemorating those who have died during the pandemic.” Asked if the team discussed the anti-racism gesture before the match, Townsend said. “There were a few former England international players that had died over the past few weeks so that was happening before the game. There was minute applause for Sir Captain Tom as well, and obviously the recognition about stamping out racism in a sport which has taken place in games previously in the season. That was part of it. We obviously stand against any racism or discrimination in sport.”