De Villiers' Boks decision shows poor judgement

2019-09-16 08:43
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)

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Puppet Nation ZA's Peter de Villiers reacting to their Emmy nomination will make you LOL

2015-10-19 14:52

Puppet Nation ZA has been nominated for an Emmy Award. To celebrate, we took some time to talk rugby with the Peter de Villiers puppet. Watch.WATCH

The stated opinion of Peter de Villiers, namely that he would not support the Boks at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, because SA Rugby did not immediately sanction Eben Etzebeth for alleged racial abuse, refers.

De Villiers has made a very poor call here, and one should expect better from someone who was once the national coach. On the one hand, we have a national cause: The Boks have the potential to do well, which can contribute much to national pride, a sense of unity, a regaining of self-belief, and so forth.

On the other hand, you have the allegation of abuse, which could be valid, or unfounded; either way, it is a serious matter, and needs to be investigated with an objective and sober perspective, and the law needs to take its course. The timing of this was however very unfortunate, on the eve of the Boks' departure to Japan. Hence the decision was made not to withdraw the player from the squad, or to delay his departure, but to rather deal with the matter after the RWC. It seems like a pragmatic decision to place the interests of the player, the team and in a way, the nation, above the interests of the aggrieved party to have justice served immediately. It does not seem unreasonable.

But it is shocking then that De Villiers decides, on that very tenuous basis, to declare that he will not support the Boks in Japan. That from a man who, in his career pinnacle, led that very enterprise, just a few years ago. How fleeting and superficial is a loyalty, when it swops polarity so easily? Besides, to reiterate, the judgement call made by SA Rugby was not to have justice denied, but to have it deferred by a month or two.

Upon reflection, I suspect some of the older Boks will nod knowingly, and be quietly relieved that they are going into the RWC without De Villiers' support.

Dawid Bosman



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