Author Topic: The Springboks!  (Read 11162 times)

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Offline Donald Duck

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Re: The Springboks!
« Reply #105 on: November 13, 2007, 07:36:55 PM »
Interesting article from last weekends Sunday Tribune in Ireland......


WELL it's over, we bid adieu and thank Christ for that; it was the worst World Cup of six . . . even worse than the 1999 edition. The entertainment quotient and the quality of the rugby was very poor. Two, maybe three, games out of 48 got the pulse racing. Even the final moments of the competition grated.

The presentation of the cup was a sporting travesty.

Let's look on the bright side first, at least Syd Millar wasn't throwing the medals at players Mott the Hoople style like he did in '03. Somebody had obviously had a word. But why was a grumpy old man handing out the spoils of war. Martin Johnson, the captain of the previous winners should have handed over the pot to the captain of the new champions.

I don't like the IRB or anyone who aspires to be a board member. You really do have to question their motives.

So what did they do wrong?

Well I consider it inappropriate that political leaders of any kind be anywhere else other than the most comfortable seats in the house . . . why then were Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown and Thabo Mbeki in the middle of the pitch at the prize-giving ceremony. That prize-giving ceremony was a perverse presentation and an act which was repugnant to the spirit of the game of rugby union. I take exception to the very presence of any political leaders but I forcefully object to the image shown around the world on Sunday and Monday in all mediums.

The images of Thabo Mbeki being hoisted by ANC stateappointed officials with the William Webb Ellis Cup in his hands was a contravention of the very essence of the game.

What part had he played in the Springboks victory? What was he even doing on the podium? If England had won would the English squad have lifted Gordon Brown into the air in triumph? Not bloody likely. Nobody seems to consider this inappropriate . . . well I bloody do . . . political hi-jacking of sporting occasions an anathema to most peoples' notions of sport. Why it was done with the tacit approval of the IRB is not beyond me though. They realised South Africa and South African rugby is going down the toilet and this pathetic gesture might do some good to assuage forces and opinion back there that this victory was for everyone in South Africa .

Jake White deserves immense credit for his single-minded bravery in attaining his objective. It was difficult enough to beat what was in front of his team (actually not really) but the team had to stay focused. What was even more difficult was to stay on course as he was put under huge political pressure to include a significantly higher proportion of black players than he had been up to and including the Tri Nations.

To howls of protest, White only picked six non-white players in his squad, the same as in 2003; they might have been the unwritten rules.

White kept his head and won in the end without having to carry players who were not up to the grade. Butana Komphela, a senior and powerful ANC member suggested that the Springboks should have their passports revoked by the government. White, after winning the World Cup, will not get a second term. Komphela has declared that the ANC will never support Jake White if he bids for a second term . . . the point being that he would rather see a losing multi-racial side based purely on political quotas, not merit, represent South Africa than see a predominately white team based on merit .

From the new season onwards the Springboks will by law have to have 10 black players in a squad of 22 irrespective of whether the 10 are of international quality or not.

How come a political party can dictate this? Surely it is an act which circumvents the fundamental principles of sport . . . pick your best team and compete to win. It is amongst other things an act of overt racism and an act where the ruling black ANC party would take huge satisfaction if not glee from diluting and destroying one of the last bastions and passions of the former white ruling class. The ANC recently passed another resolution that the Springbok title and emblem be scrapped. Another gentle kick in the nuts for 200 years of oppression.

Most right-thinking people found apartheid an unspeakable crime against humanity, the world re-acted to a certain extent with political pressure; sporting and economic boycotts played their parts in bringing it to an end in 1994. How much has changed in those 13 years it is hard to quantify but as it currently stands this country is no happy-clappy rainbow nation.

I recently read Martin Meredith's The State of Africa, and it is a stunning read. It charts the history of every state in Africa since accession or independence.

It is also depressing as it charts literally the same dismal cycle of misgovernance, corruption, greed, death, tyrannical leadership etc.

But there is a recurring theme of racial hatred.

Sometimes we lose the real sense of what racism is about in our politically correct and appropriately sanitised society. Calling someone a sambo as they walk down O'Connell Street might now be considered a heinous crime here, but everything is a question of scale. Witness the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda . . . genocide on a grand scale . . . two million dead inside a year. The Biafran War, 1-2 million dead, Darfur . . . the list is endless. Black people hating black people and willing to kill wantonly . . . you talk of scale then this is point blank. But no matter how deep seated the indigenous people's hate for each other is, it pales into insignificance for the dislike of the white man.

Read the book, you can't blame them.

Already it has manifested itself in Zimbabwe . Robert Mugabe's government decides this course of action on a daily basis, overtly racist, as evil as apartheid. So remind me why, when Ireland played Zimbabwe in the recent Cricket World Cup, that nobody said a dicky?

As in the '60s and '70s in the sporting protests/boycotts against South Africa , why weren't there people flour-bombing the cricket crease from crop-dusters or rushing barbed wire fences or holding all day sit-ins outside the Zimbabwean hotel?

If I wanted to register my disgust at Ireland playing sport against such a racist regime how would I do so? I tried to ring the Irish antiapartheid movement but no such organisation exists anymore. Now that Kader Asmal is happily ensconced in power in South Africa , I haven't heard him come back to Ireland and condemn Mugabe and his oppressive regime.

Thabo Mbeki and the ANC give encouragement, economic help and friendship to Mugabe and his regime . . . I find that objectionable.

Mbeki has serious issues to deal with in his country.

An Interpol report stated that the annual murder rate in South Africa is in fact twice the reported rate of 23,500 (47,000); 95 per cent of that is black killing black, only a matter of time before that changes. Hunger, inertia, political unrest and poverty are powerful catalysts for further change. The white man's prosperity and capital are what are required and slowly but surely it will be acquired.

Quite possibly the first step is to take the white man's rugby team away from him . . . that will really hurt.

It is my experience of South Africa that the black man plays soccer almost exclusively and the white man plays rugby. On one weekend in Johannesburg years ago I went to watch the Blue Bulls play in Ellis Park on a Saturday, the following Sunday the Kaiser Chiefs played a game of football. On Saturday there were no black faces in the audience, on Sunday my slightly pink visage and that of my companion were the only white people in attendance.

Out of a population of 48 million, 38 million are black and 4.3 million are white. The minority play a minority sport within that country . . . there is no bar at school, university, club, provincial or international except that you be good enough. The South African international soccer side has one white man in its squad;

there is no bar on participation. The composition of the team is overwhelmingly black yet there is no need for state mandated quotas. Why? If the black political class are serious about multi-racial rugby it should not start from the top down but from the bottom up.

The reason I was opposed to Thabo Mbeki appearing on the pitch in Paris is that he is the president of a party which has imposed sanctions on a sporting body, ones which I think are overtly racist. The spine of the Springbok side realise it and well before their time they are leaving and going to Europe . That is wrong too. It's hard to gauge how weak South Africa will be in 4 years. It is a worrying trend for rugby and things in general in that country.

Have we lost sight of the real meaning of racism or are we afraid to say it. South Africa steps up in 2010 to host the soccer World Cup. If they win, will the white minority rejoice even though they have practically no representation?

Debatble. In the meantime will our moral guardians be as swift to act as they were in the 60's and 70's if there are further discriminatory shifts in sport policy. Should we call for a boycott in 2010 if things deteriorate more?


Offline barb (Fry)

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Re: The Springboks!
« Reply #106 on: November 13, 2007, 11:38:48 PM »
Heavy Kenny...need a few days to digest this
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Offline Paul Alexander

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Re: The Springboks!
« Reply #107 on: November 14, 2007, 10:48:50 AM »
Sounds somewhat fanatical realy.. While not polically inclined I've got to state that I am far more favourable of the current political regime in SA than I ever was of the NP. The ANC inherited an economy in ruins, the country's international bank balance was far in the red, the world bank refused additional loans. Now SA is nicely back in the black (no pun intended). Politcally how many times did you see the apartheid government acknowledging and publicising government oriented fraud (could count it on one finger) the only time they did anything about it was when they were publically exposed. I have no doubt that there are idiots in government, there always will be, regretably after a liberation struggle, 'favours' are always due both within and outside of the country and it will generally take 2 generations to iradicate appointments on 'struggle' credentials. But I'm inclined to say: "So far, so good"

Offline Michael Alexander

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Re: The Springboks!
« Reply #108 on: December 06, 2007, 10:43:44 PM »
i don't think anyone really cares if the entire bok side is made up of 6 foot 5 Zulu warriors, just as long as they are ranked number 1 in the world........

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Offline darryl weidemann

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Re: The Springboks!
« Reply #109 on: December 07, 2007, 09:42:59 AM »
i agree with mike, i could give a continetal flying *$~ what colour makes up the majority in a team. if they are the best in that position then they deserve it.
Sport and politics never have and never should mix. i think that 'ol paddy' over there is a little peeved at the fact that the irish did not really play rugby ( not sure what they did ) for a month. And yes the chances are that the english woudn't have lifted gorden brown up , but then again why would they , they dont really think to much of him and  he is no small guy.
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