France full-back Melvyn Jaminet sent home after ‘racist’ video following win over Argentina

France's Melvyn Jaminet kicks a conversion at the 2023 World Cup against Uruguay
Melvyn Jaminet played for France at the 2023 World Cup – Reuters/Stephanie Lecocq

France have sent home Melvyn Jaminet from their tour of Argentina after the full-back posted a video to his Instagram account claiming he would hit “the first Arab I come across on the road”.

The video, posted before being swiftly deleted after France’s win over Argentina in Mendoza, showed him speaking to the camera while out walking at night.

Jaminet said in the video: “My mother asks me if I partied… I swear to you, the first Arab I come across on the road, I’ll hit him with my helmet. I’ll hit him with my helmet. I’m telling you: I’ll hit him with my helmet. A hit with my helmet, I’ll hit him.”

A recording was taken by Sébastien Delogu, a French politician, who described the comments as “scandalous”.

In a statement the French Rugby Federation condemned Jaminet’s comments “in the strongest terms”, adding that “such comments are totally unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values of our sport”.

Jaminet has been sent home while an investigation is carried out into his “extremely serious remarks”.

The France statement concluded: “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 behavioor, of any nature whatsoever, has a place in French rugby.”

Jaminet’s club, Toulon, also strongly condemned his comments, posting on social media: “Following the video published on social networks involving Melvyn Jaminet, the RCT condemns the comments made and dissociates itself from them. An internal investigation is open and the club will communicate more widely at the end of it.”

Jaminet was a late replacement in France’s 28-13 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, a surprise result given Fabien Galthie had taken a weakened squad on tour, with nine players winning their first caps in the Test.

He was not part of France’s Six Nations campaign but did play in four matches at last year’s Rugby World Cup, scoring a try as a replacement in the opening game against New Zealand.

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