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Sport

Kolisi wants Stormers' players to make up own minds about Black Lives Matter

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - First Test International - South Africa v England - Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - June 9, 2018. South Africa's captain Siya Kolisi in action. Picture taken June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Stormers captain Siya Kolisi says it will be up each of his team mates as to whether to show their support for Black Lives Matter when rugby resumes in the country on Saturday.

Kolisi, who led South Africa to the World Cup in Japan last year, has revealed in-depth discussions within the Stormers camp about BLM and equality, and says they agreed it would be up to each individual to decide their own stance without prejudice.

“We’ve tried to narrow it down to what’s going on here in South Africa,” Kolisi told reporters. “We pride ourselves on our diversity in the Stormers team.

“There are so many things that people can do to show their support and we said, as long as we’re getting the education, and we’re learning and growing each week, what someone else does, that’s up to you.

“We’re not going to judge each other. We have to respect what they (team mates) are doing and the decision they’re making, and they will answer for it.

“If you ask me what I’m doing, I will answer for it and then the next guy will answer for themselves.”

South Africa’s minister of sport, Nathi Mthethwa, angrily demanded action from rugby authorities when eight South Africans at English side Sale Sharks did not take a knee before a game last month, while others in the side did so.

“(The) BLM movement is important because the rot and the pain has been faced by black players here in South Africa,” Mthethwa said in a statement.

The Stormers will play in what is essentially a pre-season fixture against the Lions on Saturday, the first rugby to be played in the country since March.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Kim Coghill

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