NO SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR THOSE WHO WANT SPECIAL TREATMENT
I’ve written time without end about how those who fought so hard and so bravely for non-racial sport in this country were betrayed.
Those who are guilty of this betrayal are thousands of sportsmen and women, that minority of South Africans who had been given the right to vote and to represent South Africa in every range of sport since God knows when.
None of them gave a rat’s arse – then, and by the looks of things, now – about the tens of thousands of their compatriots who were disqualified from competing at the highest level, simply because they were black.
And yet, when apartheid collapsed, it was the privileged who launched an undignified scramble to play cricket in India, to re-establish their rugby ties with apartheid-supporting rugby bodies in Australia, New Zealand, France and the British Isles, and to participate in the Olympics.
None of them had the decency to apologise for supporting the myriad laws they voted for to keep millions of their compatriots in a state of second-class bondage.
And so today I ask: have they learnt anything about non-racialism or anti-racism in the almost three decades since the defeat of apartheid?
No, they haven’t….
This week, cricket writer Firdose Moonda reported on what South Africa’s playing XI did as gestures for anti-racism – particularly, taking the knee – at the start of their series against West Indies.
She wrote: ‘In total, I received 105 replies; 85 of those were abusive.’
‘I was called pathetic, told how to do my job, my family (from whom I am estranged) was attacked, I was sent memes of people pointing a gun at someone, sworn at, called a cupcake, a disgrace and a Nazi.
‘From the names/pictures I could see, all but one was male.
‘All the names/pictures I could recognise were white.
‘I am 34 years old, supposedly of the generation that was supposed to reap the rewards of our transition from legalised racism to freedom.
It is 2021 and I don’t think I have ever felt more excluded or more abused.
‘We are not free.
‘We have failed.
‘To say I am heartbroken does not explain it.
‘I am not posting this for sympathy or good wishes.
‘I am posting this so that we can look at ourselves and ask ourselves: ‘Why have w allowed our revolution to be so brazenly betrayed.’
Firdose, we have been betrayed because we have allowed ourselves to be betrayed.
It’s time for people like you and me to put our collective foot down – and demand proof that apartheid is dead.
And one way of showing that it is, is by not allowing a band of idiots to expect they and the players they support in the sport deserve special treatment.