Melvyn Jaminet ‘at French rugby’s disposal’ after being sent home for racist remark

Colin Newboult
Melvyn Jaminet in action for France during the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Melvyn Jaminet in action for France during the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

France and Toulon have opened internal investigations after their player, Melvyn Jaminet, was sent home from Argentina for making a racist remark.

The 25-year-old was in South America with Les Bleus when a video appeared on his Instagram page.

In it, Jaminet was heard saying: “My Daronne (the player’s mother) asks me if I’ve been partying… (he breathes out) I swear, the first Arab I see on the street… I’ll hit him with my helmet… I’ll hit him with my helmet… I say: I’ll hit him with my helmet… With my helmet, I hit him…”

Suspended and sent home

France immediately took action, suspending the Toulon full-back and sending him home from Argentina, while they also began an investigation.

The video has been deleted from the player’s Instagram but it is still being circulated widely on social media.

“The French Rugby Federation strongly condemns the comments made by Melvyn Jaminet in a recent video posted on social media. Such comments are totally unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values ​​of our sport,” an FFR statement read.

“As a result, Melvyn Jaminet has been suspended with immediate effect and is leaving the French squad currently in Argentina.

“An internal investigation is underway to shed full light on these extremely serious comments and to take appropriate action.

“The FFR reaffirms its unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and secularism. Rugby is a sport that brings people together and unites them, and we have a duty to promote these core values. Discriminatory behaviour of any kind has no place in French rugby.”

Calls grow for convicted racist to be dropped from France’s World Cup squad

Jaminet’s club, Toulon, also released a strong statement, condemning the full-back’s comments and also insisting that they will investigate.

“Following the video published on social networks involving Melvyn Jaminet, the RCT condemns the comments made and dissociates itself from them,” it read.

“An internal investigation has been opened and the club will communicate more widely at the end of it.”

Jaminet apologises

Jaminet, who earned 20 caps for the national team and featured in France’s Six Nations Grand Slam triumph in 2022, has since apologised for his comments, saying that he is “deeply sorry and ashamed of my words.”

He added: “I want to apologise to everyone. I understand that this may have hurt and offended many people, and I want to say that these comments in no way reflect my values ​​​​or those of the French rugby team.

“Racism, in all its forms, is unacceptable and goes against everything I believe in. I understand the FFR’s sanction and I am at their disposal to shed light on this matter.”

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