Rugby superstar Sonny Bill follows Ozil in China criticism

2019-12-23 06:54
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)

Wellington - New Zealand rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams followed Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil in criticising China's treatment of its Uighur minority on Monday, while lamenting that some had chosen money over "humanity".

Register your interest for the British & Irish Lions tickets in South Africa 2021

As the fallout from Ozil's condemnation of China's crackdown on Muslim minorities continues, Williams - a double rugby union World Cup winner with the All Blacks who converted to Islam - weighed in.

"It's a sad time when we choose economic benefits over humanity," he posted on Twitter, with an illustration of a hand emblazoned with the Chinese flag gripping another hand with the flag of "East Turkestan" - the term many Uighur separatists use for Xinjiang - and dripping with blood.

China had responded furiously to Ozil's attack on Beijing policies and experts say have seen widespread human rights abuses and an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities jailed.

Ozil was deleted from Chinese versions of the popular Pro Evolution Soccer computer game and Chinese state television pulled the broadcast of an Arsenal match against Manchester City.

In a similar episode, China moved in October to punish the NBA's Houston Rockets after its general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.

Ozil had tweeted in Turkish: "Korans are being burnt... Mosques are being shut down... Muslim schools are being banned... Religious scholars are being killed one by one... Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps." 

"The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard," he wrote against a blue backdrop with a white crescent moon - the flag of East Turkestan.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  sonny bill williams  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Who should walk away the winner in the Team of the Year category at the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.