Let’s Understand This! We Can’t Force South Africa’s White Athletes To Take a Knee In Support Of #BlackLivesMatter By Cheryl Roberts

19 Aug

lewis hamilton

Let’s get straight to the point! White sports people in South Africa come from lives of privilege experenced during what was their glory apartheid era and inherited from the apartheid era. They are also racists and proponents of racial prejudice and white supremacy during a post-apartheid time in South African society. All of this being inherited from and carried over from their parents, grandparents, ancestors from a South Africa that was dominated and controlled by a white minority. And the point is? It doesn’t mean because whites live in a post-apartheid SA they have undergone radical and critical mental transformation and consciousness. Because they retain the wealth and their white privilege and have stayed on in post-apartheid SA, they seemingly accept a ‘rainbow nation’ way of life, making us believe they endorse, embrace, favour, a non-racial SA where ‘all are equal’.

Whites, as a group are racist. They thrive on and survive on white privilege. As soon as their white privilege and white control is being challenged, they start responding with their racist attacks and racist prejudice. When representing SA, they may say ‘I love playing for SA’s flag and for our SA country’. But this doesn’t mean white sports people have disrupted and rejected their white privilege! There’s no ways all or most white people in sport are going to take a knee at sports events in support of the #blacklives matter movement. Yes, we accept that some whites have broken rank, taken on another consciousness and will and have taken a knee.

But we can’t and should not expect all whites in sport to take a knee. I don’t expect to see them doing it because I know that whites as a group in sport are racist and protect their white privulege and don’t speak up and out against discrimination and racial prejudice in sport. So why the hell are we expecting to see them taking a knee? And why do we think we should force them to take a knee?

Most whites are racists! Accept that. They should not be forced to take a knee. Let them expose themselves for whom they are, what they represent. Get This! Its public relations by corporate funded sports to present a sports team as a ‘united team, playing for the rainbow nation that is post-apartheid SA.’ It’s to fool the sports consumer and fan, the society that everyone is ‘one nation’. But we are not fooled! We know that the majority of whites in sport still don’t accept black offcials being in control of sports federations, that majority whites are racist when criticising post-apartheid sport, that majority whites in sport still believe ‘whites are merit and blacks are development in sport’.

Now we see SA’s Minister of Sport wanting to know something about the South African rugby players that didn’t take a knee before their pro club rugby match in England. Damnit! They don’t care and don’t want to support #blacklivesmatter activism and movement. They want to have their white control, preferential selection, favouritism and privilege intact. They want just a few blacks in national sports teams of cricket, rugby, swimming, hockey, netball, representing SA so whites can have most of the representation.

There’s a war of attrition going on in South Afrucan sport. We are not one unified group when it comes to representation and selection. How can we be unified when we come from an unequal society, where minority whites have most of the country’s privileges and benefits? We must acknowledge and accept that most whites in sport are not our #blacklivesmatter allies, they don’t support a society that takes away their white control, white wealth inherited from apartheid and white privilege. So why are we going to force them to take a knee in support of #blacklivesmatter?

Call them out! They should be told we see them. We also let them know we are intent on disrupting our unequal sports paradigm, of challenging and dismantling their white privilege and white control and, not only imagining but ushering in the society we must have for all South Africa’s people to be looked at fairly, equally and justly. Sports officials don’t have to hide and protect those whites who refuse to take a knee. Acknowledge that white supremacists, white racists, white proponents of racial prejudice exist in sport. This is all carried over and inherited from apartheid. Now we have these people in the SA sports paradigm. We must be aware of them so we know who are the allies and who are not.

Damnit, despite South Africa winning three rugby world cups, I never believed the propaganda that ‘we were one nation through rugby’. My consciousness never believed this because I knew the white South African has a different mindset and thinking to my black thinking that arises out of years of oppression by a minority white regime.

How many whites have challenged white-dominated sports team representing post-apartheid sports team? How many whites have called out racism and racial prejudice in sport in SA? How many whites have publicly supported the #blacklivesmatter movement?

Leave them – these whites who refuse to take a knee – in their white laager. We are surging ahead with disruption and challenge and fighting for the sports paradigm we want. I won’t force any white person in sport to take a knee. I also don’t support those in sport who don’t support the #blacklivesmatter movement and those who never challenge whiteness, white privilege in sport. I also know where we stand in relation to #blacklivesmatter. If white players/athletes don’t want to take a knee, then let them be. We don’t have to defend them and enquire from them their reasons. We just have to acknowledge we inherited these type of whites from apartheid and rooting them out is an ongoing struggle. And we also let them know we know they still favour a white controlled sports paradigm but we ain’t going to allow them that control ever again.

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