Melvyn Jaminet: French Rugby player suspended for racist 'headbutt' comments

A rugby player has been suspended for making racist comments. Pictures: AFP via Getty ImagesA rugby player has been suspended for making racist comments. Pictures: AFP via Getty Images
A rugby player has been suspended for making racist comments. Pictures: AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images
A French Rugby player has been suspended for making xenophobic comments in a video on social media.

French Rugby Union player Melvyn Jaminet has been suspended after he was found to have made xenophobic and discriminatory comments in a post on his Instagram page. Jaminet, in a video that subsequently made its way on several social media sites, exclaimed: "I promise, the first Arab I see on the road, I'll headbutt him.”

The video sparked widespread condemnation for Jaminet, who has subsequently apologised for his comments and has said that they go against ‘everything I believe in’.

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The French Rugby Federation issued a statement regarding the video, which reads: “The French Rugby Federation (FFR) condemns in the strongest terms the comments made by Melvyn Jaminet in a video recently posted on social media. Such comments are totally unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values ​​of our sport.

“As a result, Melvyn Jaminet has been side-lined with immediate effect and is leaving the France squad currently in Argentina. An internal investigation is underway to shed light on the making of these extremely serious remarks and take appropriate measures.   “The FFR reaffirms its unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and secularism. Rugby is a sport that brings people together and unites, and we must promote these essential values. No discriminatory behaviour of any kind has a place in French rugby.”

His team at club level, Toulon, issued a similar statement: “Following the video of Melvyn Jaminet which has appeared on social media, Toulon condemn the comments made and distance themselves from them. An internal investigation is underway.”

In an apologetic post on his official Instagram page, Jaminent wrote: “I am deeply sorry and ashamed of my comments. Racism, in all its forms, is unacceptable and goes against everything I believe in. I understand the FFR's punishment and remain at their disposition to be able to shine a light on this incident.”