SARU prepares for legal battle over racial quota plan

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Civil rights group AfriForum are preparing to submit an official complaint to the IRB over SARU’s proposed racial quota system.

On Monday, SARU president Oregan Hoskins reportedly stated to the South African press that “black players, specifically ‘African blacks’ should be given more chances” in the South African rugby team. Hoskins then advised Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer that the national team should have a greater representation of blacks, following a meeting with the SA Olympic Committee (Sascoc) last week.

“I spoke to the coach and he agreed, the time is right for this. I believe we will already see a change or two against Scotland this coming weekend,” Hoskins told Afrikaans daily Die Beeld.

However, AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel pointed out that IRB laws prohibit political interference and racial discrimination in rugby, before accusing SARU of pandering to the wishes of the Minister for Sport.

“SARU’s instruction to the Springbok coach is a crude form of racial discrimination and an indication that SARU has surrendered to the quota threats of the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula,” Kriel said.

He went on to say that any type of quota system would have an adverse effect on the national team, and that developing the game from a grass roots level would be a much more effective way to boost player numbers.

“A racial quota system disadvantages all talented players of all races. White players are disadvantaged because they are excluded from participation based on their race and the validity of the inclusion of black players in teams is by default suspect.

“SARU and government should address their own failure to develop young talent at school level with development programmes rather than playing the numbers game in a top-down manipulation of the sport.”

What do you think of the issue? Is a quota system the right way to go?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

27 thoughts on “SARU prepares for legal battle over racial quota plan

  1. Rugby was not invented by blacks, so the team should consist of the BEST players no matter what their race is.

  2. positive discrimination is as bad as negative discrimination.

    “White players are disadvantaged because they are excluded from participation based on their race and the validity of the inclusion of black players in teams is by default suspect”

    This line settles the entire argument.

  3. Bit like the argument that said Gatland picked too many Welsh players for the 3rd Test v Australia last year.

  4. I’m not against quotas in principle – if sport was solely about winning then the vast majority of people who play it would jack it in tomorrow. But I’m against it as it’s an imperfect solution to the issue and is far too divisive.

    SARU would be better to focus money and co-ordinated effort on development in the Eastern Cape in particular, where the Union has been riddled with mismanagement and crisis for some time and a huge number of potential black players are. The fact that SARU do not co-ordinate national development and money available for this is a disgrace, especially when there is obviously such a huge issue with representation from the majority of the population.

  5. Unbelievable. Where will we go next. Bee does not work have they not seen the results of their political agendas as yet, every municipality has gone to the grave. Now we need to do this with our sport as well. If a player not black not white a PLAYER is good enough he should get the chance to represent a team at grass roots at school, at club , at varsity cup , at currie cup at superrugby and at springbok level. Fact is HM will do whatever he needs to, to stay in that job. Even if it means playing under achieving players.

    Can we have 60% whites in Bafana bafana as well. Maybe they will start winning. Lmao

  6. This quota system is a load of rubbish. You pick the best players for the team, any team. Does not matter what their colour might be. If they are the best in this country we will support them.
    Maybe it’s time they picked the best players for the national soccer team and let’s see if they could do better.
    The politicians should stick to what they have been chooses to do and leave sport to the sport professionals.

    1. I could not have said it better, although it is a load of —-. Maybe the best players should form their own teams, where there won’t be any political agenda. Rugby has been mainly a white sport therefor it is logic to think there should be more whites in the team. If they insist, make the national rugby team all black then and see what country wants to play against a team that is there because of their colour and not because they are the best players in that country,

  7. Players should be picked on merit. Start at grass root level with development. If the interest is sufficient it will work through and should then be picked on merit. You can’t solve the problem from the top.

  8. I do not think a quota system and politics has any relevance in sport… The person who has the best talent should play irrelevant to race! SA is a multi-racial country and ALL should have a fair chance to prove their talents. If a quota system is considered then just consider Bafana Bafana where are they in World Cup soccer this year 2014? Our SA Rugby team have been in world cups for many years, best of all 1995 after transformation…

  9. Forget race! If we want to uphold the reputation of the springboks we need to play our best team! If you don’t then springbok rugby will loose its biggest fan base and then bye bye rugby in SA

  10. I am sick and tired of hearing this sh*t, “there are not enough blacks in the springbok team” WTF, look at bafana bafana and all the south african soccer clubs, how many whites do you see there; I agree with some of the comments above that if a player has talant and came through the ranks from school rugby then pick him for the national team not just because he is black and you have to fill a gap.

    1. I agree.. Imagine how the likes of Jp Pietersen, Lwazi Mvovo, Sithole, Siya Kolisi, Mohoje , Beast or any other ‘non-white’ player must feel when they selected:

      ”Yes!! Im good enough to make the SA squad…. Oh wait .. Hang on! ”

      Oregan Hoskins, SARU and Fikile Mbalula (especially you mate) … go suck a D!#%

  11. Absolutely Justin. Strange how the Quota Zealots are somewhat ‘blind’ to this issue in football but see it all too easily in rugby.

    I am reminded of the words of from the Bible

    ‘Remove the plank from your own eye before you remove the splinter from the eye of your brother.

    It seems to me these politico types all think like Napoleon in ‘Animal Farm’ where

    ‘Everyone is created equal but some are more equal than others’.

  12. Will become like soccer… Only difference is there will not be many spectators as not many watch rugby in the 1st instance… No spectators = less or no sponsors = death of rugby in SA as we know it… Let’s get ready to watch the Heinenken Cup, where most SA players of all colour will be competing … We will also need to choose a new Country to support so the 5 Nations will become our International arena.

  13. This is the reason why so many young talented players leave SA to play overseas. Our problem is that SA Rugby do not have great administers.

  14. It’s like saying there aren’t enough English-speaking South Africans in the springbok squad. Fact is, is that Afrikaners have always been the more dominant rugby players!

    English-speaking players earn their right to play for their country, and God knows it’s tough to match up to the Boertjies! EVERYONE who gets selected to play for SA should be purely on merit. Beast, Siya Kolisi, Habana, De Jongh, Cornal, Sithole, Ashwin, Breyten, Chester Williams and there’s still the baby boks…

    The list goes on, these guys deserve/d to wear the green and gold. Why do we have to now go and make our rugby suck because we’ve got black okes put in there because they’re OK?
    All our black rugby players are honored to play for SA because they’re honorable men! If an oke gets put in the team just cos he’s black, he himself will feel like a doos cos a bloody politician put him in there!

  15. I fully support the idea of picking players on Merit but then again the coach as well has to be FAIR look at what Jake White is doing with the Sharks team. Black players are given a chance and those he has picked have proved themselves,DO NOT PICK THEM FOR THEIR SKIN COLOUR NOOOO! Siya Kolisi has proven himself that he is very capable of competing with the likes of Schalk, Francouis, Willem etc. Beast Mtawarira has CEMENTED his place and I believe if the likes of Gio and De Jong could be given a fair chance by Heyneke then they could also prove that they are good enough to play for the BOKS.

    But then again the coach decides and we’ve seen how he decided not to pick a BRILLIANT player (Heinrich Brussouw) who has proven himself each time he wears that green and gold jersey.

  16. Like most cancers eating away at Africa this is another which in time will have its finality in mediocrity, nationalism and financial failure. The politics of envy are destruction.

    If we extend this thought process over other sports we would call for more Chinese representation (quotas) at all levels of worldwide sport and the restriction of black athletes in certain track events to no more than 20% of the starters. Of course that would have us laughed out of sight.

    I’m hoping that soon we will see a call for the restriction of white paid customers at rugby games and the refusal of TV money paid by white supporters, so that all financial inputs into rugby are made more representative.

  17. This is the most annoying news ever. Quota… what about the best players in the team. Find a scientific formula to qualify a player and then use that player, black, white, it does not matter. South Africa is in a downwards spiral because of this BEE, quota system, empowering black, taking opportunities away from whites, lowering standards to accommodate previous disadvantaged black people. This is STUPID!!! Teach the teachable, train the trainable, develop those who wants to succeed. Be fair. Nature explains to us the following. The Alpha male rules. The strongest in the pact protects the pack. Why should hand outs and and lowering standards weaken the results of past achievements.

    To prove my point if quotas will work just because 90% of SA is black. Make 90% of the Springboks black, and you will never ever see the the World Cup trophy ever again, why??? A hand out weakens the receiver, subconsciously programming the receiver of the hand out that I do not have to be the best, the color of my skin was part of the reason I am a Springbok. Look at Bafana bakakspeel. South Africa needs to keep what is good, change what is k@k and leave what is working. Stop envying evryone that is winning, create your own success.

  18. I’m a young black rugby player and I want to make it just like everyone else but I DON’T believe the Springboks have to suffer the consequences of the actions of the admin of youth level rugby. The problem is not with the Springbok squad. The youth level admin are responsible for providing the Springboks with individuals that are worthy of that jersey and they haven’t done so. The real problem is in the development of black rugby players at school level not the inclusion in the national squad. You can’t wish to have black rugby players in the squad when there simply isn’t enough good black rugby players to choose from. So the youth development must work to produce the players that can be chosen for the squad.

    And another thing is the reactions of some white individuals are fuelling these politicians. Yes we all get angry at some decisions and statements made by these politicians but resorting to racial slurs and so on only divides the country just because of the actions of a few individuals in power. Racial slurs only give these incompetent politicians more reason to believe that this sport is just another stage for racism to take place even though it’s not the case.

      1. The comments of this young man are admirable and well written, but unfortunately have a logical fallacy, and it’s this fallacy that is at the root of the problem. Hoskins is simply reacting in a political manner to a problem he cannot solve, never will, and doing so he is delusional.

        There is this notion that black African(sic) players are not coming through because they lack opportunity and that at youth and pro level they are not given enough encouragement and whatever else is needed to make a world class player. This notion pre-supposes that there are enough world class black rugby players just waiting to be uncovered. If I were to pre-suppose that there are many white Usain Bolts out there but none of them are getting the opportunity they deserve, I would be laughed out of sight. If I were to suggest that people of African descent be restricted to no more than 20% of the sprinting finals I would most certainly be carried off to an asylum.

        We are all quite happy, at least those of us who are not prejudiced, to acknowledge that Black Jamaican athletes (who make up a fraction of a fraction of the world sprinting class) are predisposed to being better sprinters, that African Americans are better at football and baseball than whites, that Black Kenyan runners are better at middle distance running etc. None of these assumptions make us racist but simply accepting of the fact that some groups have genes which give them an advantage over others.

        Yet if I make the case that the Afrikaner community and most specifically that group which has Huguenot ancestry, are physically advantaged and have a greater certainty at being world class rugby athletes, then I am a racist and a stereotypical white supremacist.

        It is simply unacceptable in South Africa to acknowledge that we have a minority group who are genetically more capable than other groups. Instead we persist with majority nationalistic rhetoric, misguided delusions about equality and lack of opportunity, and more futile efforts to make into something that which cannot be made. We simply cannot mention what I have said here for fear of being run out of the country, yet this dishonesty is at the root of the problem in SA, the inability to accept that in some (not all) areas of sport, whites just have a genetic advantage, which has nothing to do with opportunity.

        Anyway let me called racist and supremacist as much as is wanted. This does not stop me from appreciating the talents of the many black sports people who dominate their sports worldwide by virtue of their genetic advantage. I am not delusional or blind to the unfairness but inevitability of genetics and sports performance and it does not hurt my pride that it is so.

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