Israel Folau was the only man left standing after players from both Catalans Dragons and St Helens took a knee prior to kick-off on Sunday.
According to Fox Sports, officials and players from both sides knelt in a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with Folau the only player refusing to kneel.
The @SuperLeague is back! St. Helens v Catalans Dragons are first up – every player taking a knee before kick off to show their support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement – except Israel Folau pic.twitter.com/g83FEbeUC7— Richard Graves (@RichardGraves1) August 2, 2020
Dragons coach, Steve McNamara, defended Folau’s decision following the game, saying it was his “personal choice.”
“As a group of players and coaching staff, we spoke about it in depth and as a club we are completely against racism and all for equal opportunity,” McNamara said.
“But there were some players and staff who made the decision not to take the knee. That was based on personal choice, they have their own reasons for doing that, and we decided we would respect anyone’s personal choice on the matter.”
On Friday NBA’s Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac took a similar stand, refusing to kneel with his teammates as the national anthem was played during the prematch ceremony.
In a post-match interview, Isaac said he supported black lives, but not the way Black Lives Matter does.
“I believe that Black Lives Matter. Kneeling while wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives,” he said.
“I support black lives but not that way. My life has been supported by Jesus Christ. The gospel gives us force.
“I knew it was going to be a tough decision, one that people would have questioned. I’ve leaned on God’s word and his plan for me.
“People have opinions, but I took my decision. We’re protesting and doing things to get something done. But we need to see all the things and all the answers are in the word of Jesus.”
Both Isaac and Folau have copped criticism online and in the media for their stance against the dangerous ideology at the core of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Queer activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, has openly admitted the underlying ideology driving the movement is Marxism.
Cullors made the admission during a 2015 interview, detailing the background of the movement after the interviewer raised concern that Black Lives Matter lacks a clear ideological structure.
“We actually do have an ideological frame,” she said. “Myself and Alicia [co-founder] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has been open about its beliefs and intentions and has listed many far-left ideals on the organisation’s website, including:
We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
We take our hats of to both Folau and Isaac for looking beyond the slogans and the hashtags before jumping on a “social justice” bandwagon and supporting a cause whose ultimate goals will be more damaging than the problem they’re supposedly fixing.