Cape Town - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi's comments on the South African quota system have landed him in hot water with many rugby followers.
Footage of an interview with Kyodo News surfaced over the weekend in which Kolisi suggested that former South African President Nelson Mandela would not have supported the quota system in South Africa.
"I don’t think he would have supported that, but I don't know him," Kolisi said in the interview.
"You shouldn’t put a number on stuff like that.
"I wouldn’t want to be picked because of my skin colour because that surely wouldn't be good for the team and the guys around you would know."
Kolisi also pointed out that his path to the national side had been made easier by the fact that he had gone to an English school.
The reaction on social media saw many disappointed in Kolisi's comments, while some supported him and others felt that his words were taken out of context and that he was misunderstood.
Here are some of the reactions we came across on Twitter.
I still support Siya Kolisi. I wish someone would pull him aside and remind him it is not his job to message transformation for South African Rugby. His job is to unite a truly representative team on the field.— Kass Naidoo (@KassNaidoo) January 7, 2019
Remove race,emotions and understand what he is saying, Siya Kolisi says A boy studying in Kwenxura must work 10x hard than a boy in Stellenbosch just to get a chance at glory. Learn to listen to understand not crucify.— Siphiwo mbande (@mbande_siphiwo) January 7, 2019
Black Twitter is absolutely outraged by Siya Kolisi's comments on the quota system. The truth is Nelson Mandela believed in the noble idea of meritocracy, which means best person for the job irrespective of race, religion, gender or social class. Tata was a true revolutionary!— SG (@Sowellnomics) January 7, 2019
I think Siya Kolisi must remove himself from the qouta debate.. ..quickly— Mayihlome (@MTshwete) January 7, 2019
Siya Kolisi got where he is because he is one of the best at what he does.— Jonathan Witt (@Jonathan_Witt) January 7, 2019
The quota system is an insult to him and anyone else who sacrifices and works hard to achieve their success only to then be viewed as a quota player.
Merit is the way you climb hierarchies.
Does Siya Kolisi even understand the concept of redress?— Amanda'lah??? (@milk_and_money_) January 7, 2019
Siya Kolisi needs to understand that more than 300 years of inequalities, brought about by colonialism, can not merely be fixed overnight. Legislation such as affirmative action and quotas are means to correct past wrongs. Madiba would have endorsed it.— Christo (@ChristoThurston) January 7, 2019
Really disappointed in Kolisi— ?? (@aphiwe___) January 7, 2019
Im so Dissapointed in Bok capt @robertmarawa Why is ???? Rugby system made like this? All of a sudden he believe that you have to be from Model C schools to be Springbok, that's misleading cos it's a thought that people have cos of the system. These Boks ????didn't attend Model C pic.twitter.com/wvCJcOXRDE— ThandoManana (@TandoManana) January 7, 2019