All Black goes political: Unites with controversial cause

THE All Blacks aren't in the business of mixing rugby with politics.

In fact, very few have outwardly spoken out about something political - aside from the ever-vocal Sonny Bill Williams who last year tweeted graphic images from Syria with the caption: "What did these children do to deserve this? This summer share a thought for the innocent lives lost everyday in war."

Throw in Israel Dagg who got in a little bit of trouble in 2014 for tweeting his support for John Key on election day, but other than that, the Boys in Black are kept relatively quiet.

In part, because they want to focus on rugby, but also because New Zealand Rugby has clear rules around what players can and cannot write on their apparel.

Josh Kronfeld was stopped from wearing head gear with the words "No Nukes" written on the side during the All Blacks 1995 tour of France.

But it would appear one-test All Blacks' prop Kane Hames got away with one when the Maori All Blacks took on USA over the weekend.

Hames had written on his arm "Standing Rock," in support of the protests taking place in the United States' North Dakota.

The Native American community is fighting the construction of a $3.7 billion oil pipeline through their land with concerns a leak in the pipeline would pollute the tribe's only water supply.

When video footage emerged of police hassling protesters with weapons and police dogs, it echoed scenes of Civil Rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

It's really the first time in recent memory that an All Black has openly shown support for a political issue.

With NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick causing controversy this year with his US anthem protest, questions came to light of whether athletes should mix the two.

Regardless, it is unclear why Hames has ties to the protests, other than showing his support for human injustice.

He was able to show off his stance when he scored a try during his side's 54-7 win over the USA Eagles.

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