Stop blaming transformation

Stop blaming transformation

Coach Allister Coetzee is feeling the pressure

Proteas prove that players of colour are world beaters.

Munier is mooi gatvol of people blaming “transformation” when our sports teams don’t perform.

Especially when the Springboks lose, as they are doing now, then everyone screams at the politicians and their “quota system”.

Grow up, man!

But OK, if you don’t smaak hearing Munier’s views on the matter, then listen to Faf du Plessis.

The cricket captain was asked for his opinion on transformation, after the Proteas “whitewashed” the Aussies 5-0 in the ODI series in South Africa last month.

“People were expecting big changes and big defeats, but now people can relax and see there is enough talent, no matter what colour you are,” he said of his team, which included the likes of young stars like Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo.

It must really annoy the anti-transformation brigade when players of colour win all these man-of-the-match awards.

The same sports fans who believe that “politics should stay out of sport”.

And that players should be chosen on “merit” and because they are “the best” for the job.

Yes, because if you didn’t already know, “the best” equals white players!

And if a national team has too many bruin gesiggies in it, then it clearly isn’t “the best” available squad.

By this same double standard, when a white player is selected, it is because he is chosen on merit.

But if a black player gets a chance to wear the green and gold, then we must question whether he is a quota pick, or if he really is “good enough”.

One can only imagine how tough it must be for players of colour to perform under this kind of scrutiny.

Sadly, this is the sickening state of affairs in our sport.

We live in a country where our sport was wrecked by apartheid politics – for decades.

Now, 22 years later, the playing fields are still not level.

The old systems, structures and mindsets are still in place, preventing transformation from happening.

Talent development at youth and club level, and selection at provincial and national level, are still hampered by the same historic imbalances.

That is a fact. Government knows it, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula knows it, we all know it.

What we need is to develop our sport to a point where there is equal opportunity for all our talented athletes, regardless of colour.

But one thing we simply cannot do is leave our sport bodies to their own devices.

If we do, then we’ll end up with another Heyneke Meyer disaster.

You know, when a coach picks a lily-white squad of old, injured Bokke, playing old-school rugby, and then they get humiliated at a World Cup by Japan.

This is what happens when you “keep politics out of sport”.

This is what happens when you let coaches choose their “best” team.

No! Never again.

But let’s talk about the man who is currently in the hot seat, Allister Coetzee.

As a former Bok assistant coach, two-time Currie Cup winner and Super Rugby finalist, he clearly comes highly rated.

Unfortunately, the pressures of building a new (winning) team, developing a new game plan, keeping the talent in the country, and political targets are getting to him and his camp.

To his credit, he was man enough to admit he needs help, and called a national rugby indaba last month, in order to address these challenges.

Munier wishes him the best of luck and hopes he can turn the Bokke’s fortunes around.

He must be given time to execute his plans, but if he fails, then he needs to go.

You’ll notice we haven’t really touched on Bafana Bafana.

You see, unlike our cricket and rugby teams, the SA soccer team’s problems are not really racial.

Even their strongest “Blackfana” critics have noticed that Safa have been scouting locally and abroad – for the best talent.

Think UK-based Dean Furman, and more recently Dutch-born striker Lars Veldwijk.

If there’s a good white footballer out there, you can bet they will get into the team.

What Bafana really needs to do is sort out coach Shakes Mashaba and their management, if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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