2019 Rugby World Cup: Sonny Bill Williams speaks out after Instagram removes prayer photo before All Blacks match

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A social media conundrum has reportedly been solved after Sonny Bill Williams spoke out about one of his Instagram photo’s being removed from the social media site.

Williams, who is a devout Muslim along with All Black teammate Ofa Tuungafasi, claimed that Instagram removed a photo of the duo praying before the All Blacks’ match against the Springboks in Yokohama because it was reported by a “third party”.

The All Black midfielder took to Twitter and Instagram to question why the “simple picture” was taken down by the social media giant.

“Hello @instagram & to all that reported this photo. I’m wondering why this was removed from mine and @TuungafasiO pages?” Williams wrote.

“Surely a simple picture of someone expressing their gratitude for what they’ve been blessed with is ok?”

Williams accompanied his post along with the original picture he posted and the notice he received from Instagram saying that the content he posted on the social media site “infringes or otherwise violates” the rights of a third party.

Fans supported Williams, with some calling out the person who reported the post as “bigots”.

“That was amazing to see before the match – unfortunately the bigots are out in full force,” said one fan.

“@instagram I think you need to review this decision,” said another. “Clearly the people reporting it are bigots using your report function to bully another user. Nothing wrong in this photo at all.”

But an Australian journalist claims to know the the real reason the post was pulled: copyright.

“I have confirmation the professional photographer who took this picture complained to Instagram after his byline was cropped out,”tweeted Jamie Pandaram of the Daily Telegraph. “Fair enough.”

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