Rugby drama: Club responds to alleged K-word slurs

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Wanderers logo

Cape Town - The Wanderers Rugby club in Johannesburg has shed more light on the alleged racial attack directed towards their players last week.

The incident occurred during an under-21 match between the Wanderers and Roodepoort rugby clubs on Wednesday, April 25.

In a statement released by Wanderers, the club claims that racial and verbal abuse was directed towards their players by Roodepoort spectators and players.

“The referee did not reprimand those who were instigating the verbal abuse towards players,” Wanderers said.

Wanderers claim that Roodepoort players directed the K-word towards black players in their team.

The statement continued: “The same was being used by Roodepoort supporters, as well as calling black players from Wanderers ‘development players' - a dog whistle in reference to the colour of their skin. The sentiment among Afrikaans, Black and Caucasian players from Wanderers was (the) referee was showing prejudice against and being confrontational when speaking to Wanderers’ players."

Verbal insults followed the conclusion of the match, which Roodepoort won 26-21.

“Physical assaults started where Roodepoort players and parents attacked Wanderers Black players," Wanderers added.

According to the Wanderers statement, Roodepoort prop Ruben Chambers instigated a physical attack by slapping one of their black players and calling another player the K-word.

“This was followed by Roodepoort players, coaches and parents running on to the field to push and punch Wanderers players. The above-mentioned player’s father assaulted our player by punching him in the face and kicking him when he was on the ground. Roodepoort’s players also tackled (the) Wanderers coach to the ground and proceeded to beat and kick him.”

Meanwhile, the Golden Lions Rugby Union’s disciplinary committee is investigating the matter.

“We strongly condemn racism and consider the incident to be very serious,” Pieter Visser, the GLRU’s manager of amateur rugby, told Netwerk24.

Visser said the Lions will comment further on the matter once the disciplinary process has been completed.

Roodepoort Rugby Club's president Roxy Roux said the club will comment after the investigation is completed.

The disciplinary process is expected to start next Wednesday.

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