Christian rugby star Billy Vunipola has defended his decision not to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter.
For the restart of Premiership rugby matches following lockdown, all clubs chose to show their support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The Saracens, the club for which Mr Vunipola plays, were asked if they wanted to ‘take a knee’ before kick-off.
This gesture has become synonymous with BLM but several players, including Mr Vunipola and two of his Saracens teammates, chose instead to remain standing to demonstrate their opposition to racism without endorsing the organisation.
Mr Vunipola was questioned why he did not take the knee, despite his known support for black and ethnic minority causes.
Speaking on ‘The Good, The Bad & The Rugby’ podcast, he said he could not align himself with everything that BLM believed in.
Mr Vunipola told listeners, ‘They were burning churches and Bibles. I can’t support that. Even though I am a person of colour, I’m still more a person of, I guess, Jesus.’
However, according to the BBC, claims that arson attacks on churches were connected to BLM protests in the US have been investigated by police and are unproven.
Evangelical Times has previously reported how Mr Vunipola received public backlash for supporting fellow Rugby player Israel Folau, who had said in a social media post that homosexuality is a sin.
During the podcast, the host Alex Payne asked if Mr Vunipola regretted supporting Mr Folau’s post. He replied that he would still maintain his biblical position on the matter.