EYE SAY

LET RACISTS HAVE NO SAY IN THE RUNNING OR PLAYING OF CRICKET

Last week, former star wrist spinner Paul Adams provided damning testimony at Cricket SA’s Social Justice and Nation-building hearings….

What he had to endure was sickening.

And yet, there was worse to come.

Today, it was Ashwell Prince’s turn to provide even more damning evidence of racism.

In a country in which white sports people have begged time after time, after time, to ‘give us one more chance, please’, it has become abundantly clear that far too many of them cannot divorce themselves from the behaviour they have become so accustomed to over many generations.

The time has come for strong action to be taken to identify and kick out the nests of racists who remain far too prevalent, and have been given far too much power, in our various codes of sport.

Racists should never be given any position of authority in cricket and, indeed, in any sporting code in South Africa. Thus, most cricketers in a team want to ‘take the knee’, the whole team should follow suit.

There should be no debate about it.

If those who don’t want to, threaten to leave – to play in the UK, Australia or New Zealand – I say: let them go. Usher them out as quickly as possible.

We do not need them here.

Last week, Adams told the SJN Hearings headed by Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza how white teammates, including the current national coach, Mark Boucher, had sung ‘Brown shit, in the Ring, Trah, lah, lah, lah, lah’, to the tune of an old Boney M ditty, at mock disciplinary hearings after matches.

FFS, this is racist. And it is crass too.

This week, Prince told the hearing what had happened in the players’ dressing room after a fight had broken out close by between people of predominantly Indian origin at a day-night international in Durban.

He said he was shocked to hear white teammates passing comments such as, ‘Typical F@#$ing Charoes, drinking cheap wine.’ [and the like].

These comments had been passed he said, he said, despite the team manager, Goolam Rajah, being of Indian origin.

On another occasion, after the Proteas had crashed out of the 2006/7 World Cup, a post-mortem meeting, turned into a heated argument between white players, who blamed the team’s poor showing on ‘quotas’ and Prince, Ntini and Gibbs who insisted they were in the team on merit.

‘We were never a team,’ said Prince.

‘Playing for South Africa should have been the culmination of a dream for me, but it proved to be an absolute nightmare’.

He said that in the end, he saw playing at international level as a war fought on behalf of the oppressed people of South Africa.’