Down With White Springbok Coach, White Lens And White Privilege In SA Rugby By Cheryl Roberts

10 Aug

Why Are White Players Given So Much Chances To Fail? Is Rugby Being The Saviour Of White People In South Africa?

IMG_6127Where is the power in South African Rugby? Who benefits from elite participation in rugby? Elite and professional rugby is a microcosm of South African society. Just like post-apartheid SA has a black government, so too does South African Rugby have a black leadership which includes a black president and deputy president. And just like the commanding heights of the SA economy remains in the hands of whites, who make the wealth and get the profits, so too is the Springbok team seemingly the ownership of white people.

It’s difficult to explain to the white South African bloc, that white grouping who still believe that rugby is really a ‘white man’s sport’ and a ‘white preserve and reserve‘ in SA, that blacks have been playing and enjoying rugby for many, many decades in SA. It’s more than a challenge to let these uninformed minds know that black rugby talent has been plentiful over the decades and this talent is evident in young, developing rugby players.

After two decades of spending millions of money on ‘rugby development’, why are black rugby players not being considered on honest and just terms, like white players? Why must black rugby players struggle to get selected and why are they seemingly seen as too small, too slow and too inexperienced, yet young white players are always given opportunities.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has disappointed the post-apartheid, democratic South Africa with his belief that it’s mostly white players who can perform in a Springbok jersey. Is Meyer is the only man who thinks like this or is it a mindset of most white people?

Meyer has chosen Springbok squads and teams, and given opportunities to many players, some of them veteran and ageing players, some young and inexperienced. But most of these players are white with a few black rugby players getting the thumbs up to pull on the coveted and proud Springbok jersey. Does the springbok coach really want us to believe that white players are always the best, they perform, betters and have ownership of the ‘bok jersey.

We refuse to believe this or accept this theory because the Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been proven to be devastatingly wrong. After three successive defeats in a few weeks, the worst being a home defeat to world class football country, Argentina, playing with a largely white player representative team, we are convinced that Heyneke Meyer is selecting through a white lens.

This can’t be tolerated or allowed. South African rugby is not a whites only country and white privilege is not entertained or allowed in South African sport. What are the SA Rugby officials thinking by allowing this state of white domination of the national rugby team? Leadership and officials must guide and give leadership not remain silent or whisper to themselves. They must give profound and emphatic leadership and direction and that must be according to the post-apartheid South for all people, not only whites.’

Heyneke Meyer had an impressive record as a coach when he got appointed Springbok coach. I believed in him, said let him rove his capabilities. South Africans are differing in their reasons why they oppose Heyneke Meyer. Some want Meyer to be dismissed because he’s a losing coach. Blacks want Meyer sacked because he can’t see the talent and prowess of black rugby players. Meyer’s white lens is not what we want.

If you choose a team and they lose three successive Tests then why can’t you choose black players, we are asking Heyneke Meyer. I’m not saying the ‘Bok coach is racist but I’m for sure arguing that he’s white lens is problematic and must be defeated from SA Rugby.

There’s no doubt that SA rugby has a loyal white fan base but this white fan base is not loyal to a post-apartheid SA because they don’t call out Springbok selection when it favours white players and dismisses black players. We have had enough of biased and discriminatory selection which favours white players in the Springbok structure.

As formerly oppressed South Africans who fought for freedom in SA, we can’t tolerate to see white players benefiting from post-apartheid rugby. There are talented black players and we demand that the white selection lens be eliminated altogether.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: