Cullinan’s views on transformation are racist and highly ignorant

2016-08-30 06:00

IF you have the time this week, go over to the cricinfo website and watch Daryll Cullinan being interviewed and giving his views on transformation, Makhaya Ntini, Hansie Cronjé, and how cricket isn’t a sport for black people.

It’s hilarious, ignorant, and will leave bewildered as to how a fully grown human with a fully functioning brain — hopefully — can hold such backward, archaic views.

Cullinan used to be one of my favourite cricketers back in the day. Watching him at the crease, when Shane Warne was not bowling, was one of my favourite things to do as a youngster. It was like witnessing poetry.

While playing cricket in the garden, I would try and do everything he did, and at the age of 12, I truly believed that I would one day go on to play for South Africa. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that good, so that was that. Perhaps it was all those tapes of him attempting to play Shane Warne that I watched that did me in.

Cullinan’s views on transformation lately seem to suggest he doesn’t want black cricketers in the South African national team. When ex-Test captain Hashim Amla gave the view that black cricketers in South Africa were doubted, Cullinan dismissed Amla’s own views, talking from experience, and said they were “blinkered”.

It was very disappointing reading what Cullinan had said, given that I regarded him as a general all-round good bloke.

Then, this weekend, Cullinan did an interview that featured on cricinfo where he aired some views Hendrik Verwoerd and DF Malan would be proud of, claiming that “cricket isn’t inherently the black man’s game” and how young black cricketers will always struggle because “catching a taxi for R30 to cricket practice is unfair to ask of black mothers who are most likely single and are domestic workers”. I kid you not, Cullinan said that. The interview should still be up on cricinfo. Go check it out.

I’m quite disappointed that Cullinan holds these views, especially seeing as though he’s from the Eastern Cape and went to Queens College, where black people have been playing cricket since the 19th century.

By saying “cricket isn’t inherently the black man’s game” displays a lack of understanding on a lot of things. It suggests that he thinks certain sports in South Africa belong to certain races, and that he is against a more representative team where inclusivity is the name of the game.

In the interview, Mr Cullinan also says he didn’t feel that Makhaya Ntini should have been given a chance at the time that he was.

Ntini clearly had the talent, he states, but he felt that Test cricket was not a finishing school, and that only those who were finished article deserved to make the step up.

Does he also think that about Jacques Kallis, who was, by no means, the finished article when he made his Test debut, and stayed in the side despite struggling and not scoring any runs in his first couple of games?

Unfortunately, South Africans are never going to truly understand transformation and the reason behind it for as long as ex-players like Cullinan remain ignorant and arrogant about it.

And, saying something as stupid as “cricket isn’t inherently the black man’s game” makes you look like a dinosaur that’s out of place and time.

Black people have played cricket for years. Basil D’Oliveira wasn’t allowed to play for South Africa despite his obvious talent. The likes of Eric and Khaya Majola — not the Sharks flanker — excelled in the sport back in the day, and because of the law of the land at the time, could not take it up further.

Currently, there are black cricketers throughout the country, playing for some of the best schools, and excelling and going on to provincial and franchise level. Cricket is not inherently the black man’s game? Daryll Cullinan needs to check his brain before opening his mouth.

The game of cricket is everyone’s game. If a kid decides to pick up a cricket bat, then the game belongs to him, regardless of his race.

And, there are thousands of black cricketers in South Africa, Mr Cullinan.

We’re no longer living in the 1980s and ’70s when people got away with saying racist and stupid things. Cullinan said Amla’s opinion was blinkered. But, I beg to differ on that point. It’s Cullinan’s opinion that is blinkered. It’s blinkered by an ignorance of South African history, and the history of the game in this country.

The next time Cullinan decides to give his views on transformation, I suggest he does a little reading and educates himself on why it is needed in South Africa. I suggest he also pick up a history book and learn about players such as Krom Hendricks, D’Oliveira, and the legacy left behind by the Majola family.

Surely with so much reading material available in libraries and on the Internet, it should not be possible that someone so privileged as Cullinan can be so ignorant. He should do us all a favour and keep his mouth shut, and let those who are knowledgeable on the issue give their opinion.

Perhaps he should just stick to rambling on his Facebook status, where he will block you should you dare challenge him. Although, I doubt he’d be able to block anyone with “Warne” — thanks Garric — in their name.

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