Challenging Toxic Masculinity: Where Are The Women’s Voices In South African Sport? By Cheryl Roberts

28 Apr

1ntambi ravele
We know that South African sport is infested with toxic masculinity. But where are the women’s voices and women’s critical consciousness in South Africam sport to challenge and attack this toxic masculinity?

I’m asking this question in lieu of a recent happening in South African sport. An experienced woman in sport, Ntambi Ravele wanted to stand for the SASCOC elections and have her nomination for SASCOC President endorsed by her federation, Tennis South Africa. Two men officials from sport – one from tennis and the other from SASCOC – then had a ‘few minutes convo’ about the worth of Ntambi Ravele for nomination. And between them, these men – Gavin Crookes from Tennis South Africa and Barry Hendricks from SASCOC (who doesn’t serve on a national sports federation exco) – quickly finalised that Ntambi Ravele ‘didn’t have the credentials nor administrative /leadership qualities to be president of SASCOC’.

I have already written an opinion article about the despicable and audacious behaviour of these men in sport who had the audacity to discuss the worth of a woman in sport and then shoot her down. Now I’m asking about the women in sport. Where were your challenges against these men shooting down a woman in sport; a woman who dared to believe in her worth as a sports official? Where were your voices condemning these men?

I didn’t hear women’s voices. I didn’t read about women speaking out against these women. Why were you silent? Is it because you are in the election group of these men? Is it because you prefer supporting men in sport rather than supporting a woman in sport?

I am asking these questions because they are vital and pivotal. If a woman got shot down by men in sport who assume they are superior in sport, then the same could happen to another woman/women. Why didn’t women in sport speak out, use their collective power and challenge the men shooting down a woman in sport? If we can’t rely on men in sport to support us, then why aren’t women in sport supporting and challenging this superior thinking behaviour of audacious men?

Most importanly, how can we trust and support women nominations for the SASCOC Board when you are quiet and silent about another woman being shot down by men officials? Why are you going to participate in the SASCOC elections whilst a potential woman president of SASCOC, got shot down by men. And are you going to support men who shoot down women’s worth, to be elected to SASCOC. Women in South African sport have much to answer for around this issue of a woman in sport being scrutinised by men officials and having her elections fate placed in their hands. I find women sports officials GUILTY of supporting the men who shot down a woman’s worth.

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