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Rugby, cricket urged to address racism

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Select Committee on Education, Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, has called on South African Rugby and Cricket South Africa to cleanse their images of the racism tag.

“The stories told by black professional athletes is concerning, and could lead many to conclude that nothing has been achieved. This is the time to show leadership and not bury our heads in the sand,” said committee Chairperson Elleck Nchabeleng.

The committee made a call during its briefing on Tuesday.

Nchabeleng said that the tales that have been shared over the past few days are scary, and should be addressed honestly.

“We can’t act as if we’ve never seen anything. Boardroom presentations on quotas and transformation targets need to be complemented by a fundamental shift of attitude among people we regard as representatives of our country.

“It is so embarrassing that black athletes are all having individual stories to tell. Racism has no place in South African sports, the impression that young white athletes create exclusionary environment in teams through use of Afrikaans or social mannerisms is a concern,” Nchabeleng said.

Various black professional cricket and rugby legends, including administrators and commentators have come out to say they encountered racism in the two codes, particularly cricket.

Nchabeleng emphasised that coming out to support the ”Black Lives Matter” movement was inadequate for administrators … they need to show leadership.

“White athletes have no choice but to accept that black athletes are going to be part of the South African professional setup, and vice versa.”

The committee also noted the window for grant relief that has been re-opened by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

“It is preferable that poor and amateur athletes also benefit from the scheme,” Nchabeleng said.

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