Faf de Klerk of Sale Sharks led the team out wearing Rugby Against Racism T-shirts

South Africa’s Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has asked the country’s rugby association to explain the actions of eight national team players who refused to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement ahead of English Premiership match at the weekend.

The Sale Sharks players were among eleven who elected to remain standing during the pre-match activities against Harlequins.

Players from both sides wore “Rugby Against Racism” T-shirts.

Those who did not kneel are Springbok World Cup winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager‚ twins Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez‚ their older brother Robert‚ Akker van der Merwe‚ Coenie Oosthuizen and club captain Jono Ross, Times Live reports.

“You must remember we were together at the World Cup in Japan as a country with some of the players and one thing which cannot be tolerated is when somebody is displaying racist behaviour and showing racist attitude,” said Mr Mthethwa.