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French rugby federation suspends Jaminet after racist remarks in viral video

PARIS — France fullback Melvyn Jaminet was suspended from the national rugby team on Sunday after a video surfaced of the player appearing to make racist remarks. He later apologized.

In a statement posted on X, the French rugby federation (FFR) condemned the comments as “unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values of our sport.”

It said Jaminet “is sidelined with immediate effect, and will leave the French squad gathered in Argentina.”

In the video, which went viral on Sunday after being shared on social media by French lawmaker Sébastien Delogu, Jaminet can be heard saying, “The first Arab I meet on the street, I’m going to head butt him.”

The federation also said it was conducting an internal investigation to ”shed light on the extremely serious nature of the remarks and take appropriate action.”

“Discriminatory behavior of any kind has no place in French rugby,” the statement added.

The post is no longer visible on Jaminet’s social media. However, the 25-year-old player issued an apology shortly after his suspension was announced.

“I understand that this has hurt and offended many people, and I want to make it clear that these remarks do not reflect my values or those of the French rugby team. Racism in any form is unacceptable and goes against everything I believe in,” he wrote on Instagram.

Substitute Jaminet kicked a long-range penalty Saturday in the first test against host Argentina, which France won 28-13.

Jaminet has made 20 appearances for France. He plays for Toulon in the south of France.

His club also published a statement on X to “condemn the comments” made by Jaminet and distanced itself from them. Toulon also announced it was conducting an investigation, but did not comment on any potential suspension for the player.

France has taken a squad of 42 players to Argentina including 22 new caps. They play a second test in Velez on Saturday.

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AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby

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